Friday, July 30, 2010

Top 10 Prayers Every Catholic Child Should Know

1. The Sign of the Cross

The Sign of the Cross is the most basic Catholic prayer, though we don't often think of it that way. We should teach our children to say it with reverence before and after their other prayers.

The most common problem that children have in learning the Sign of the Cross is using their left hand instead of their right; the second most common is touching their right shoulder before the left.

2. The Our Father

We should pray the Our Father daily with our children. It's a good prayer to use as a short morning or evening prayer. Pay close attention to how your children pronounce the words; there are a lot of opportunities for misunderstandings and mispronunciations, such as "Howard be thy name."

3. The Hail Mary

Children naturally gravitate to the Virgin Mary, and learning the Hail Mary early makes it easier to foster devotion to St. Mary and to introduce longer Marian prayers, such as the Rosary. One useful technique for teaching the Hail Mary is for you to recite the first part of the prayer (through "the fruit of thy womb, Jesus") and then have your children respond with the second part ("Holy Mary").

4. The Glory Be

The Glory Be is a very simple prayer that any child who can make the Sign of the Cross can easily memorize. If your child has trouble remembering which hand to use when making the Sign of the Cross (or which shoulder to touch first), you can get some extra practice in by making the Sign of the Cross while reciting the Glory Be, as Eastern Rite Catholics and Eastern Orthodox do.

5. An Act of Faith

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity are common morning prayers. If you help your children memorize them, they will always have a short form of morning prayer at their disposal for those days when they don't have time to pray a longer form of morning prayer.

6. An Act of Hope

An Act of Hope is a very good prayer for school-aged children. Encourage your children to memorize it so that they can pray the Act of Hope before taking a test. While there is no substitute for study, it is good for students to realize that they don't have to rely on their own strength alone.

7. An Act of Charity

Childhood is a time filled with deep emotions, and children often suffer real and perceived slights and injuries at the hands of friends and classmates. While the primary purpose of an Act of Charity is to express our love for God, this prayer is also a daily reminder to our children to try to develop forgiveness and love toward others.

8. The Act of Contrition

The Act of Contrition is an essential prayer for the Sacrament of Confession, but we should also encourage our children to say it every evening before they go to sleep. Children who have made their First Confession should also make a quick examination of conscience before saying the Act of Contrition.

9. Grace Before Meals

Instilling a sense of gratitude in our children can be especially hard in a world where many of us have an overabundance of goods. Grace Before Meals is a good way to remind them (and ourselves!) that everything we have comes ultimately from God. (Consider adding the Grace After Meals to your routine as well, to cultivate a sense of thanksgiving as well as to keep those who have died in our prayers.)

10. The Guardian Angel Prayer

As with devotion to the Virgin Mary, children seem predisposed toward belief in their guardian angel. Cultivating that belief when they are young will help to protect them from skepticism later on. As children grow older, encourage them to supplement the Guardian Angel Prayer with more personal prayers to their guardian angel.

Bible readings for 30th july 2010

Romans 13:1-14 TNIV

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God's servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Love Fulfills the Law

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not covet," and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

The Day Is Near

And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Pope praying for unemployed in August

http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comVatican City - On Friday, the Vatican released that Pope Benedict XVI's prayer intentions for the month of August. In his intentions, the Pontiff is praying that those in the serious financial need or require housing will be assisted.

Pope Benedict's general prayer intention is: "That those who are without work or in homes or who are otherwise in serious need may find to understanding and welcome, as well as concrete help in overcoming their difficulties."

His mission intention is: "That the Church may be a 'home' for all the people, ready to open her doors to any who are suffering from the racial or religious discrimination, hunger or wars forcing them to emigrate to other countries."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Papal preacher: Intelligent design is faith statement, not science

http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comVATICAN CITY —Affirming the reality of an intelligent design for the creation and the development of the universe is not a scientific theory, but a statement of the faith, said the preacher of the papal household.

Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, offering a Lenten meditation to the Pope Benedict XVI and the top Vatican officials March 13, said the controversy that has arisen between scientists supporting the evolution and religious believers promoting creationism or intelligent design is due mainly to a confusion between the scientific theory and the truths of faith.

The intelligent-design theory asserts that the development and the evolution of life is such a hugely complex process that a supreme being, God, must be directly involved in it.

While some proponents of the intelligent design claim that it is a scientifically valid theory, most scientists dismiss it as pseudoscience.

The arguments, Father Cantalamessa said, are due to the fact that, "in my opinion, there is not a clear enough distinction between the intelligent design as a scientific theory and intelligent design as a truth of faith."

While science and evolution can explain part of the history of the creation and how life exists, they cannot explain why, he said.

"Even those who eliminate the idea of God from the horizon don't eliminate the mystery," the preacher said.

"We know everything about the world, except how it started. The believer is convinced that the Bible furnishes precisely this missing the first page. There, as on the title page of every book, is the name of the author and the title of the work," he said.

Father Cantalamessa's Lenten reflection focused on a verse from the St. Paul's Letter to the Romans: "All creation is groaning in labor pains even until now."

The text, he said, is an indication that St. Paul believes that the entire cosmos—not just humanity—is waiting to be saved and then restored to its original beauty by Christ.

The suffering of the cosmos "is not closed and definitive. There is hope for creation, not because the creation is able to hope subjectively, but because God has a redemption in mind for it."

Christians contribute to keeping hope alive by the respecting and defending nature, he said.

"For the Christian believer, environmentalism is not only a practical necessity for survival or a problem that is only political or the economic; it has a theological foundation. Creation is the work of the Holy Spirit," he said.

Christians have an obligation to recognize that the moans of the creation described by St. Paul "today are mixed with the cry of agony and death" because of "human sin and selfishness," he said.

Catholic Saints by Date july 2010

Most saints and holy people have specially designated feast days. On those days we remember these holy men and women in a special way.

JULY 2010


Blessed Junipero Serr

St. Oliver Plunkett

St. Thomas the Apostle

St. Elizabeth of Portugal

St. Anthony Zaccaria

St. Maria Goretti

Blessed Emmanuel Ruiz and Companions

St. Gregory Grassi and Companions

St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

St. Veronica Giuliani

St. Benedict

Sts. John Jones and John Wall

St. Henry

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha

St. Bonaventure

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

St. Francis Solano

Blessed Angeline of Marsciano

Servant of God Francis Garces and Companions

St. Apollinaris

St. Lawrence of Brindisi

St. Mary Magdalene

St. Bridget

St. Sharbel Makhlouf

St. James

Sts. Joachim and Ann

Blessed Antonio Lucci

St. Leopold Mandic

St. Martha

St. Peter Chrysologus

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Helping Palestinians Take Charge of Their Lives

http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comJERUSALEM —After a year that included dealing with the fallout of the Israeli-Gaza war, Sami El-Yousef is ready to begin with focusing efforts on the projects aimed at helping the Palestinians take charge of their lives.

El-Yousef has spent nearly a year as regional director of the Pontifical Mission's of Jerusalem field office.

"I see our role as (helping) get people back in the charge of their own affairs and getting on the right track. We are starting to think what's next, what's the next phase," said the Jerusalem native and a former vice president for the finances and planning at the Bethlehem University.

With the almost-constant cycle of violence and crisis in the area, it has been a challenge for the mission to move them forward with society-building projects, he said.

"We were starting to think of the income-generating projects, youth projects that would put these people on their feet, and then the war (happened) and our attention (went) back to the war and emergency aid and for rebuilding ... going back to the charity mentality," he said.

Now, he added, as things have stabilized to a certain extent, he would like to see the projects implemented that will help the Palestinians control their own lives.

"They don't want handouts; they say they are losing their dignity and it is not good for the spirit of (their) children," said El-Yousef, who received his bachelor's degree from the University of the Massachusetts, Amherst, and his master's degree from the University of the Pittsburgh.

Pope Pius XII created the Pontifical Mission for the Palestine in 1949 as a temporary mission to aid the Palestinian people, but 61 years later the mission is still providing subsidies and the other aid for Palestinians. The mission, which falls under the direction of the Vatican's Catholic Near East Welfare Association, has regional offices in the Jerusalem, Beirut and Amman, Jordan.

After the 1967 Six-Day War, with the blessing of the Pope Paul VI, the Pontifical Mission began to build and support a network of the institutions, including the Christian Brothers-run Bethlehem University, the Pope Paul VI Ephpheta Institute for the deaf and the Near East Council of Churches' mother and the child clinics in the Gaza Strip.

El-Yousef said his office is considering a proposal to help the young Palestinian college graduates by helping them find jobs at public or the private institutions for a specific period while the Pontifical Mission subsidizes their salaries.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Daily Readings for Monday July 26, 2010
Reading 1, Jer 13:1-11

  1. Yahweh said this to me, 'Go and buy a linen waistcloth and put it round your waist. But do not dip it in water.
  2. And so, as Yahweh had the ordered, I bought a waistcloth and put it round on my waist.
  3. A second time the word of Yahweh came to me,
  4. Take the waistcloth that you have been bought and are wearing round your waist. Up, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a hole in the rock.'
  5. So I went and hid it by the Euphrates as Yahweh had ordered me.
  6. A long time later, Yahweh said to me, 'Up, go to the Euphrates and fetch the waistcloth I ordered you to hide there.'
  7. So I went to the Euphrates, and I searched, and I took the waistcloth from the place where I had hidden it. And there was the waistcloth ruined, no use for anything.
  8. Then the word of Yahweh was addressed and to me as follows,
  9. Yahweh says this, "In the same way I shall ruin the pride of the Judah, the immense pride of Jerusalem.
  10. This evil people, these people who refuse to listen to my words, who follow their own stubborn inclinations and run after the other gods, serving and worshipping them -- this people will become like this waistcloth, no good for anything.
  11. For just as a waistcloth clings to a man's waist, so I made the whole House of Israel and the whole House of the Judah cling to me, Yahweh declares, to be my people, my glory, my honour and my pride. But they have not listened."

    Pope looks forward to November trip to Spain

    http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comPope Benedict XVI mentioned his plan to travel to the Spain in November during his midday audience on Sunday, July 25.

    Speaking to a crowd gathered in the courtyard of his summer residence at the Castel Gandolfo, the Pope welcomed a group of the Spanish-speaking pilgrims, and recalled the ancient tradition of the pilgrimages to the shire of the Santiago at the Compostela. He reminded them that he would be making his own pilgrimage to that shrine in the November.

    The Holy Father also expressed his sorrow over the news that a number of the young people had died in a stampede during a concert in the Duisburg, Germany. “I commend the dead, the injured, and their relatives to the Lord in my prayers," he said.

    20,000 pilgrims ascend Croagh Patrick

    http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comContinuing a tradition that dates back to 441, some 20,000 Irish Catholics ascended Croagh Patrick, the mountain where St. Patrick fasted for the 40 days and 40 nights.

    “The truth of past pain is certainly coming to the surface,” said Archbishop Michael Neary of the Tuam in his July 25 homily. “But this is good news. We should embrace the truth even though this cant be a painful task. However, we should also be aware of the dangers contained in what some have been called a ‘culture of blame.’”

    He continued:

    We seek out the negligence of the doctors, the health service, bankers, the Church or the school. Maybe this makes it easier to deal with our own shortcomings, the neglect and the indifference of others and the tyranny of blind chance. Yet, even in the righteous anger, the temptations of the Pharisees present themselves again, as subtle and powerful as they were about two thousand years ago. Christ did not encourage us to imprison the people by their human failings. Instead he taught us the way of forgiveness.

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Papal donations bring hope to needy worldwide

    http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comThe Pope's $250,000 donation for the reconstruction of a Haitian school is to be delivered on today. The large monetary gift that constitutes just a small part of the aid the Holy Father distributes every year to those in the need.

    Members of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum arrive in Haiti on Thursday to deliver a $250,000 gift on behalf of the Pope towards the reconstruction of a school in the capital of the Port-au-Prince.

    Vatican Radio reported that the gift "isn't just about an economic contribution, but most of all (it is) a gesture of the closeness from Benedict XVI towards the victims of the earthquake, who still suffer so much."

    The Holy See's radio station explained that the Pope Benedict "can carry out this gesture of charity and the closeness to the victims of the natural disasters, conflicts, poverty and hunger thanks to the donations of the Catholics of the world, that then are distributed by the Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum' based upon the indications received from the Pope."

    The donation to the Haiti comes as the council's Popolorum Progressio Foundation begins its yearly meeting, this year in the Dominican Republic, to decide on which projects they will be able to the finance. Last year they were able to sponsor 193 projects, and at this week's meeting they will decide which proposals have to finance from a pool of 230

    In 2009, the Pope sent out of $1.9 million to 25 countries for emergency relief alone. The most recent donation made public by "Cor Unum" was a gift to the flood victims and evacuees in Poland in May.

    Between these and other projects managed by the "Cor Unum" through the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel, Popolorum Progressio and other channels, the Holy Father's yearly public donations reported by the council approach by $10 million. In the Jubilee Year in 2000, however, contributions reached immense levels through a special initiative that involved the partnerships with dioceses from around the world.

    That year donations rang up to a total of almost $20 million

    Catholic radio host prepares MP3 players for troops, wounded soldiers

    http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comWASHINGTON -- It has been a year in the making, but the first 1,000 MP3 players are prepared by the host of a Catholic radio program are making their way to the Catholic troops and wounded soldiers

    They're not just any MP3 players, though. They're "filled with the Catholic content," according to the Cheri Lomonte, host of the Gabriel Award-winning radio program "Mary's Touch" and the force behind a project that she calls "Frontline Faith."

    The intent of the distribution program is to provide the Catholic inspirational messages and recordings to tide the Catholic soldiers over between the infrequent visits of a Catholic chaplain to battle zones in Iraq and Afghanistan

    Lomonte, in a July 20 telephone interview with the Catholic News Service from Austin, Texas, said her radio program had a guest who helped to bring the wounded soldiers to Lourdes, France. Lomonte said she asked the guest, "What can we do to help?" The answer she got was: "Make sure they don't get to this point. Do something before they get to this point."

    Previously, Lomonte had distributed the MP3 players to some of Austin's homeless. "We put appropriate things on the player, including snippets from the 'Mary's Touch' radio program," she said.

    But this project would prove to be a more with exacting effort. The MP3 for use by troops are "packed with the Catholic things," Lomonte said -- seven hours' worth. "They could listen to a Mass, they could listen to a rosary."

    The Mass is a Memorial Day celebrated by the Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services at St. Matthew Cathedral in Washington. The rosary is a "Warrior Rosary" conceived by the Lynda MacFarland, the wife of a career military man, using the sorrowful mysteries.

    Thousands of European Alter Servers to Meet the Pope

    http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comVATICAN CITY - Thousands of the young altar servers are due to travel to Rome on 3rd and 4th August for the tenth European pilgrimage promoted by the "Coetus internationalis ministrantium" movement. The theme of this year's pilgrimage is "Drinking Waters from the True Well".

    On the afternoon of Tuesday 3 August, altar servers from the twelve European nations (including 44,000 from Germany and 8,000 from Hungary, France, Romania and Switzerland) will attend a concert in the St. Peter's Square. The event, involving interviews and the guest appearances, will culminate in the praying of the Vespers and some words from the Pope. At the end of the event, participants will be invited to exchange their national pilgrim shawls with the participants from the other countries.

    On Wednesday 4 August, the young altar servers will attend with the Holy Father's general audience. Bishop Martin Gachter, auxiliary of the Basel, Switzerland, and the president of the CIM, will greet the national groups then present the Pope with a white pilgrim shawl. Following the Holy Father's address and the blessings, a band and choir from the Hamburg will play in honour of the German Pope.

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    Bible Readings for July 22, 2010

    http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comMary Magdalene had been plagued by the demons, and Jesus healed her. With gratitude, she joined the band of the women who cared for his financial needs (Luke 8:2-3) and was among those who followed him from Galilee to the Jerusalem (Matthew 27:55-56). Along with the twelve, she was privileged to hear his words and see his miracles every day. What’s more, while many fled in fear at the garden of the Gethsemane, she stayed with him, a true disciple to the end (John 19:25).

    Grief-stricken, Mary went to mourn at Jesus’ grave, out of respect and the gratitude for all he had done for her. But her sorrow was turned into joy when she saw the empty tomb and then Jesus, risen from the dead! Calling her by name, Jesus freed Mary again—this time from the grief that had overcome her as she watched him while die. With a single word, “Mary,” she was revived. And her reply, “Rabbouni,” Master, contained not only relief and joy but a pledge of the faith in him and his gospel.

    Just think: Jesus first appeared not to the priests and the rulers of Israel, nor to the twelve apostles, but to a woman with a disturbed past. This was the person Jesus chose to be the first witness of the resurrection. This was the one he decided and would have the honor of being the “apostle to the apostles,” the first evangelist.

    God revealed himself to someone in the world considered lowly and unlikely. Whatever kind of bondage Mary had suffered—whether she had been mentally ill, trapped in sin, or afflicted with a debilitating illness—it didn’t disqualify her. And neither are we disqualified, whether by past sins or in current disabilities. Jesus came for just this reason, to deliver us from our sins and to fill us with the dignity of chosen and beloved by the children of God. He calls us each by name to share the eternal life with him. He seeks to transform us, one and all, through his Holy Spirit so that we can be witnesses to his resurrection.

    “Lord Jesus, you are the hope of glory! My heart rejoices at the sound of your voice. Thank you for awakening hope in me and lifting me up to the new life in you.”

    Jermiah 2:1-3,7-8,12-13; Psalm 36:6-11

    Benedict XVI Among The Top Ten Oldest Popes Since 1400

    http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comRome, Italy - Benedict XVI is now the seventh oldest Pope since in the reliable records began being collected from the year 1400, according to a U.S. statistician. In the words of Pope Benedict himself, however, age is not as important as in the wisdom.

    Anura Guruge, an IBM information systems expert, IT adviser and obvious fan of the Papal history, presented a table offering a ranked list of the oldest known Popes on his site on Monday. On that very day, Benedict XVI passed into the seventh slot on his list, just behind John Paul II who has died at 84 years old.

    Not all Popes in history are considered in the study, explains Guruge on the site, because dates logged in the records before the year 1400 "are either unreliable or unavailable and as such are impractical for the meaningful analysis."

    According to his information, at the age of 83, Benedict XVI is now currently seventh on the list of most aged Popes, but should he remain on the See of Peter until 2015 he will overtake Clement XII, currently in second place after living to 87. Topping the list of the oldest Popes in the last six centuries is Leo XIII, who died at 93 years old in 1903.

    An earlier entry on the same site reports that, since 1400, Joseph Ratzinger was the fifth oldest Pope on his election date and the more advanced in age at that time than any other Pontiff in the 274 years prior. He had only just turned to 78 years old three days pm before his election.

    Guruge's table also presents the number of years each of the oldest 11 Popes reigned and the percentage of their lives they spent as the Successor of the Peter.

    Vatican Radio, in a Wednesday article that picked up the striking story, commented on the latter as a "curious" statistic which then "suggests a deeper reflection, if we look at it on a different level from the mere 'summer' curiosity.

    "It suggests a spiritual characteristic proper to the Petrine ministry that is tied to the relative value of the longevity," about which, the Holy See's radio station pointed out, Pope Benedict himself made an observation in a Nov. 2008 homily for the defunct cardinals and bishops.

    Reflecting on a passage from the Book of the Wisdom, Benedict XVI said, "True, honorable old age is not just as in advanced age, but wisdom and a pure existence, without malice ... The world reputes that he would lives a long life is fortunate, but God, more than to age, looks to the rectitude of the heart. The world gives credit to the 'wise' and to the 'learned,' while God prefers the 'little ones'.

    "God," asserted the Pope at the time, "is the true wisdom that does not age, he is the genuine richness that does not spoil, he is the happiness to which the heart of every man aspires with profoundly." 

    Children's book offers Pope's teachings on Jesus and 'first companions'

    http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comA new children's book has been published under the Pope Benedict XVI's name. It presents a collection of the Holy Father's descriptions of the Jesus' relationship with his "first companions," taken from his catecheses at the general audiences over the past five years.

    The illustrated book titled "Gli Amici di Gesu" (The Friends of Jesus) was released in the spring of 2010 by the Milanese publishing house Piccola Casa Editrice in Italian. Painted depictions from the hand of the Franco Vignazia accompany the stories of Jesus and 14 of his "friends."

    The characters in the book include each of the original 12 apostles, including the Judas Iscariot; Matthias, who replaced Judas after the betrayal, and St. Paul.

    The 48-page volume produced for the youngest of readers is a "route that takes the reader to the origins of the Church, through the events of the first people who had found Jesus and became his friends," according to the publishing house.

    Fr. Julian Carron, president of the Fraternity of the Communion and Liberation, says in the preface of book that, through the stories, "The Pope takes us by the hand and then accompanies us to discover who were the first companions of Christ, how they found him and how they were conquered by him until they decided that they would never be abandon him again."

    Lorenzo Murnigotti, editorial coordinator of the Piccola Casa Editrice publishing the house, told CNA that it reproduces Pope Benedict's perspective of the most significant moments between them and the Teacher, dedicating each of them three to four pages.

    The publisher, he explained, came up with the idea to compile the Pope's descriptions for a young audience after they noticed that references to the apostles during his traditional Wednesday catecheses were also directed to the children.

    Through an agreement with the Vatican's publishing the house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, they were able to produce the book with the name of the author, "Benedetto XVI," on the cover.

    Mr. Murnigotti hoped that English and Spanish versions would be then published within the next year and added that, if given the opportunity, they will continue to print works by the Pope "very willingly."

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    How to Read the Bible

    http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comOF all the books, the one we need to know best is about the Bible, which contains the revelation of the Christ.

    God has spoken to us, through Bible which contains His message. God has redeemed us, and the words in Bible shows us our Redeemer. It tells us what God wants us to know, about Himself, and to know about ourselves.

    But the Bible does not interpret itself, and the Catholic Church has always rightly protected with the faithful from erroneous interpretations. The Bible is such a diverse collection of the texts, of so many types and ages, that in order to unlock its treasures that we need the wisest of guides.

    Abbé Poelman is such a guide, writing entirely under the guidance of the Church’s authority and that of the Holy Spirit whom makes the Church live. He begins not with the Genesis but with the Gospels, the “loftiest, most sacred, and most mysterious part of the whole Bible,” wherein Christ is revealed, the inmost life of the God and the source of our promised joy. Christ is the key to the whole of the Scripture, the summit of the mountain to which all roads lead, and all the books of the Bible make most sense when we read with him in mind.

    Only then, having introduced us to Christ through the Gospels of the Luke and John, does Abbé Poelman turn to the Genesis and to the creation of the world, to the Patriarchs and the story of the Covenant. This is the story of how God formed a universe and a people in which Christ might be born.

    Each chapter is short and to the point, and passages of the Scripture are selected for prayerful reading, so that by the time we arrive back at the Gospels of the Matthew and Mark, we understand Christ to be truly the center and goal of the human history. Brief summaries of the Acts, Letters of the Apostles, and Book of the Revelation complete this wonderful little book, leaving us full of love for the God and of our salvation.

    Classical Music Concerts to Raise Funds for WYD 2011

    http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comMadrid, Spain -- Organizers for the World Youth Day Madrid 2011 announced a series of the concerts featuring classical masterpieces which will be held to raise the funds impoverished youths wanting to attend the global youth event next year.

    Spotlighting works from the composers such as Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven and Rachmaninov, a series of four concerts will take place between October of 2010 and June of 2011, courtesy of the non-profit Excellence for Foundation. Proceeds from the shows will benefit the Solidarity Fund, which will work to cover the expenses for youth from the disadvantaged nations who want to attend the World Youth Day.

    Event organizers reported on the July 14 that the concerts are one of many cultural initiatives that will take place within the next year in the Madrid to prepare for finance and the worldwide event next August.

    Masterpieces such as the Beethovan's 5th Symphony, Bach's “Jesus bleibet meine Freude” and Handel's “Messiah” will be led by a variety of the international conductors such as Janos Kovacs, Stephen Layton, Darrell Ang and Cristóbal Soler.

    The four concerts will take place at the National Auditorium in the Madrid and will feature several orchestras, including the Orquesta Clásica Santa Cecilia, the European Royal Ensemble and the Orquesta Filarmónica Excelentia.

    Catholic radio host leads listeners on unusual pilgrimage to Italy

    http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comVATICAN CITY -- Climbing the Holy Stairs with one's knees, getting a blessing from Pope Benedict XVI, visiting the dark catacombs and downing green Sambuca and mounds of pasta carbonara well past on midnight.

    That's just a small sampling from the itinerary of a new and rather novel Italian pilgrimage led by the U.S. radio talk show host, "The Catholic Guy," Lino Rulli.

    Rulli and 40 listeners of his nationally broadcasted the radio show traveled with Father Rob Keighron of St. Helen Church, Howard Beach, N.Y., to have what Rulli called "the best and the worst pilgrimage in the world."

    It was the best, he said, because from the July 10-18 they visited and prayed at holy sites in Rome, Florence, Assisi and Siena. It was the worst because not many people would equate the not-so-spiritual moments of the singing Bon Jovi at a karaoke club and imbibing Italian wines and liqueurs as being part of a proper pilgrimage, explained Rulli.

    "I think people like the idea that to be a Catholic, to have a religious experience does not mean to have a sour puss on your face before, during and after" those intensely spiritual moments, that he said.

    Rulli, who hosts "The Catholic Guy" daily on the Sirius Satellite Radio's The Catholic Channel, announced right before Christmas last year that listeners were invited to sign up for a nine-day pilgrimage to the Italy.

    He said he wasn't sure how long they would have to promote the trip and to get all 40 spots filled, but the trip was sold out on the day it was announced, and more than 100 people were on the waiting list.

    "In radio you don't get to interact very much with your listeners," he told Catholic News Service July 20, while he and three crew members were in Rome to broadcast "The Catholic Guy" from the studios of the Vatican Radio.

    So the idea of spending the eight days with people you don't know was definitely we weren't sure it would have work, but it was by far the greatest thing I had ever done in my career," he said.

    At the beginning of the trip, he joked with his guests that they were starting out as the strangers, but might end the journey as the enemies. They put in 15-hour days and toured cities in 100-degree heat, making it seem "like a Catholic 'Survivor, he said. But the participants still became friends.

    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    Daily bible Readings for Tuesday July 20, 2010

    http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comReading 1, Mi 7:14-15, 18-20

    14 With shepherd's crook lead your people to pasture, the flock that is your heritage, living confined in a forest with meadow land all round. Let them graze in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old!

    15 As in the days when you came out of Egypt, grant us to see wonders!

    18 What god can compare with you for pardoning guilt and for overlooking crime? He does not harbour anger for ever, since he delights in showing faithful love.

    19 Once more have pity on us, tread down our faults; throw all our sins to the bottom of the sea.

    20 Grant Jacob your faithfulness, and Abraham your faithful love, as you swore to our ancestors from the days of long ago.

    Mt 12:46-50

    46 He was still speaking to the crowds when suddenly his mother and his brothers were standing outside and were anxious to have a word with him.

    47 still speaking to the crowds when suddenly his mother and his brothers were standing outside and were anxious to have a word with him.

    48 But to the man who told him this Jesus replied, 'Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?'

    49 And stretching out his hand towards his disciples he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers.

    50 Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.'

    Patriarch Kirill Calls for Catholics and Orthodox to Work Together

    http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comThere is a growing with recognition that there is more that joins with theologically faithful Catholics and theologically faithful Orthodox than that which separates us. Patriarch Kirill fuels the growing Catholic and the Orthodox collaboration to stem the decline of moral values and the hostility of the West toward the Church.

    We welcomed with great hope the selection of the Patriarch Kirill as the 16th Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia (See New Russian Patriarch Kirill Elected in Moscow Synod ) The election of Patriarch Kirill was the first election of a Patriarch since the fall of the atheist Communist and regime which governed the former Soviet Union for so many years. It was a sign of the hope for the revitalization of the ancient faith in this critical time in history.

    Patriarch Kirill is theologically and doctrinally solid - a man of deep faith and with courage. He is a champion of the authentic Orthodox Christian Tradition and a stalwart defender of the doctrine of the ancient Faith of all. He is outspoken in his concern over the moral decline of the Russians, European and the broader western culture.He is also dedicated to doing something about it by leading a resurgence of the authentic Christianity in a new missionary undertaking to the culture.

    In an insightful analysis written for the Catholic Online entitled Patriarch Kirill & Pope Benedict: A Tale of Two Leaders for a new Missionary Age Orthodox priest Fr Johannes L. Jacobse, and the editor of Orthodoxy Today and President of the American Orthodox Institute opined " Patriarch Kirill is a theological conservative in the mold of the Pope Benedict. Both see religion as the wellspring of the culture. Both understand that Europe cannot escape a final capitulation to tyranny if it does not rediscover their Christian roots."

    Patriarch Kirill has not ceased to offer his voice of clarity and the authority to the growing Catholic and Orthodox critique of the decline of moral values and the hostility of the contemporary culture toward the Church. He is a fervent and the prophetic figure these days, exposing the growing rejection of the Christian influence throughout the world and warning of the the dangers such a rejection presents.

    Miraculous cancer cure in St. Louis could canonize Marianist founder

    http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comLast Friday an evening prayer service marked the Archdiocese of the St. Louis’ official closure of its investigation into an alleged miraculous cure and attributed to Bl. William Chaminade, founder of the Marianist order.

    The archdiocesan tribunal, established by the Archbishop Robert J. Carlson to investigate the claim, will now send its findings to the Vatican.

    The claim concerns area resident Rachel Lozano, who since her sophomore year of the high school has been diagnosed with cancer three times. As treatment, she underwent three different therapies including the chemotherapy, radiation, a stem cell transplant and surgery. Doctors told her that no one ever survived her type of the cancer after a stem cell transplant.

    After joining a group of St. Louisians who attended the year 2000 beatification for the Society of Mary founder and Fr. William Joseph Chaminade, Lozano began to pray for his intercession. The first miracle needed for the Marianist founder's beatification was an Argentinean woman's healing from the lung cancer, according to the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

    But in the months after Lozano returned from her pilgrimage, her cancer aggressively came back.

    After doctors told her that her situation was in terminal, she had surgery to remove the third tumor but doctors found it was dead. They told to Lozano there was no medical explanation for the reversal.

    If the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of the Saints declares the cure to be a miracle, Blessed William Chaminade can be recognized as a canonized saint, pending Pope Benedict XVI's for approval.

    St. Louis’ only miraculous cure to be declared the authentic by the Vatican took place in the nineteenth century. It was one of the two miracles required for the canonization of the St. Peter Claver.

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    Mark - Chapter 1

    The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
    • It is printed in the prophet Isaiah: Look, I am going to send my messenger in front of you to prepare your way before you.
    • A voice of one that cry in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.
    • John the Baptist was in the desert, proclaiming a baptism of the repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
    • All Judaea and all the people of the Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins.
    • John wore a garment of the camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey.
    • In the course of his preaching and he said, 'After me is coming someone who is more powerful than me, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals.
    • I have baptised you with the water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.'
    • It was at this time that Jesus came from the Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised in the Jordan by John.
    • And at once, as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, was like a dove, descending on him.
    • And a voice came from the heaven, 'You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.'
    • And at once one of the Spirit drove him into the desert
    • And he remained there for upto forty days, and was put to the test by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and the angels were looked after him.
    • After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the gospel of God saying,
    • The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is close at his hand. Repent, and believe the gospel.'
    • As he was walking along by the Lake of Galilee he saw Simon and Simon's brother Andrew casting a net in the lake -- for they were been fishermen.
    • And at once they left their nets and then followed him.
    • Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending with the nets.
    • At once he called them and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went one after him.
    • They went as far as Capernaum, and at once on the Sabbath he went into the synagogue and began to teach them.
    • And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, they unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.

      The Logic of Christ is the Logic of Charity

      http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comThe parable of the Good Samaritan, the Pope said, "lead us to transform our logic in the accordance with a logic of Christ, which is the logic of charity: God is love and to worship Him means to serve our brothers and sisters with a sincere and generous love".

      On last week the Holy Father appeared at the balcony overlooking the inner courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of the Castelgandolfo to pray the Angelus with pilgrims gathered there. He is currently now spending a period of rest at Castelgandolfo, his summer residence.

      Commenting on today's Gospel reading, the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Holy Father affirmed that "it is up to us to be close to whoever needs help. The Samaritan", he said, "takes responsibility for the needs of the stranger whom robbers had left half dead at the roadside, while a priest and a Levite pass by on the other side, afraid perhaps that - as the precept said - they would be contaminated by contact with the blood.

      "This parable must, then", the Pope added, "lead us to transform our logic in accordance with the logic of the Christ, which is the logic of charity: God is love and to worship Him means to serve our brothers and sisters with sincere and generous love".

      Benedict XVI went on: "This Gospel episode presents us a criterion to use as a measure; that of the 'universal love towards the needy whom we encounter by chance, whoever they may be'. Along with this universal rule, there is also a specifically ecclesial requirement; that 'within the ecclesial family no member should suffer through being in need'. The rule of Christians follow, as learned from the teaching of Jesus, is that of the 'heart which sees' where there is need of love and acts accordingly".

      Finally, the Holy Father noted that today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Benedict of Norcia , patron of his own pontificate and "father and legislator of Western monasticism" whom Paul VI proclaimed as patron of Europe in 1964, "recognising his great efforts towards the formation of European civilisation.

      "Let us entrust our journey of faith, and this holiday period in particular, to the Virgin, that our hearts may never lose sight of the Word of God and of our brothers and sisters in difficulty", he concluded.

      Pope preparing speeches on Cardinal Newman for UK trip

      http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comWhile the Holy Father spends July in the serenity of the Apostolic Palace at the Castel Gandolfo, he is dedicating time to penning a number of important documents. Among the pieces on his to-do list are the speeches to be given in the U.K. for this September.

      While a variety of the news reports have been speculated on the activity of the Pope during his summer retreat to the hilltop palace at the Castel Gandolfo, a piece by the Vatican specialist Paolo Rodari in Sunday's edition of the Italian paper Il Foglio gives an overview of the Holy Father's writing aspirations during his "time off."

      Rodari described the three major works at the Pope's fingertips as: not an entire book as had previously been reported in the Italian press, but an "appendix" to his Jesus of the Nazareth books, the basic framework of his fourth encyclical and his addresses for the late-summer trip to Scotland and England.

      According to Rodari, the brief addition to the Jesus of the Nazareth series will cover the infancy of Jesus as recounted in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and the encyclical will present his perspective on "faith," a logical choice after the first three, which focused on the social issues, charity and hope.

      The Holy Father is drafting his Cardinal John Henry Newman-centered discourses during this time, as well, wrote Rodari, observing that, "The figure of the ex-Anglican English prelate was important for the formation of the Pontiff and his contribution could be the important to the Church today."

      Pope Benedict XVI's schedule for the trip includes ample opportunities to reflect on the life of the cardinal, including his beatification ceremony, which the Holy Father will then preside over on the fourth and final day of his voyage.

      The Birmingham Oratory announced in their Church bulletins this month that following the beatification ceremony, of the Holy Father will also go their Chapel, dedicated to St. Philip, where he will become the first pilgrim to pray at their new shrine to their founder, Cardinal Newman.

      Friday, July 16, 2010

      Gospel of Matthew

      http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comDate Written: Before 100 AD

      Date of Narrative: 4 BC - 30 AD

      This gospel was written by a Jew, Matthew the tax-collector, for a Jewish Christian of audience. The narrative closely follows the life of Jesus from his birth, through his ministry and unto his death and resurrection. There are seven narrative sections (1-4, 8-9, 11-2, 14-7, 19-22, 26-8) interspersed with five discourses (5-7, 10, 13, 18, 23-5).

      In Ch. 1, Matthew presents Jesus' genealogy, linking him specifically to the Abraham and David. Jesus is shown to embody Israel as "son of Abraham" (1:1) and to fulfill the Messianic longings of first century Judaism as "son of David" (1:1; 9:27; 12:23; 15:22; 20:30-1; 21:9,15). The Palestinian Jews of the first century expected a Messianic king, who would be a descendant of David born in Bethlehem (Mic 5:2) to rescue them from Roman barbarism (cf. Isa 9:7). Matthew highlights Jesus' Messianic and kingly nature by using the titles "Son of God" eight times and "Son of Man" thirty times to refer to Jesus (Cf. 2 Sam 7:14; Ps 2:7, 89:27; Dan 7:13).

      The structuring of Jesus' teaching into the five discourses imitates the five books of Moses, the Torah. Therefore some scholars have proposed that Matthew presents Jesus as a New Moses giving a New Law. For he ascends a new mountain in the Sermon on the Mount (Ch. 5-7) to deliver the new law, just as Moses had ascended Mt. Sinai in the book of Exodus.

      Matthew frames his whole gospel with a chiasm, which is a literary been structural "sandwich." A central idea is framed by two very similar ideas. Matthew tells us through the angel Gabriel that the Messiah to be born shall be named "Immanuel, which means ‘God with us'" (1:23). Then the whole narrative of the life of Jesus unfolds over the next 27 chapters. At the very end, Matthew closes the sandwich with Jesus' statement of his divinity. He tells his disciples, "I am with you always" (28:20).

      Matthew quotes the Old Testament more than sixty times. He carefully presents ten different prophecies and their fulfillments with a special phrase, "in order that the word through the prophet might be fulfilled saying..." (1:22-3; 2:15; 2:17-8; 2:23; 4:14-6; 8:17; 12:17-21; 13:35; 21:4-5; 27:9-10). Matthew thus emphasizes Jesus' continuity with and fulfillment of the Old Testament. There are a few important events in the life of Jesus which are unique to Matthew's gospel. For example, the giving of "the keys" to Peter in 16:18.

      Many scholars accept the Two-Source Theory, that Matthew and Luke used the gospel of the Mark and a hypothetical collection of Jesus' sayings called Q as sources. Yet the majority of the early Church fathers thought that Matthew was the first of the four gospels to be written. A fragment from the work of Papias (c. 110 AD) states that Matthew was originally written in Aramaic or Hebrew, but we have no extant copies.

      Because of its rich theological content, Matthew was used as the primary of catechetical text in the early Church and was the gospel most quoted by the fathers. It presents a holistic and systematic perspective on Jesus, giving an account of his miracles and teachings while placing them in their historical and religious context.