Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gaudete AND Bambinelli Sunday

The Third Sunday of Advent, is also known as Gaudete Sunday, where the priest wears ROSE vestments as opposed to the PURPLE or VIOLET he wears on the other Sundays and weekdays of Advent. Since the pontificate of Pope John Paul the Great, it is also called Bambinelli Sunday to commemorate the blessing of the Gesu Bambino (baby Jesus). Children of Rome flock to Saint Peter's Piaza where the Pope blesses the figurines of the Baby Jesus which the kiddies bring from their homes and then return them in time for the family display of the Nativity Set (Christmas Creche). According to a Zenit article, the Nativity scene has been part of Italy's culture for almost 800 years now. According to tradition, St. Francis created the first representation of the birth of Christ in the little town of Greccio in 1223.

Many parishes across the globe now honor Bambinelli Sunday by having the Pastor, Parochial Vicar or Deacon bless the 'baby Jesus' which each family brings to Mass that weekend. We normally ask the youngest ambulatory child to bring up the figurine and sometimes they are accompanied by their siblings. Even the adults, however, bring their little baby Jesus from their Nativity Sets, and get them blessed every year. This can be done BEFORE Mass begins or AFTER Mass ends or it can be done later in the day at noon or three o'clock (hour of mercy). BTW, if your parish forgot to plan this in time for this weekend, no harm in doing it next weekend on the Fourth Sunday of Advent (just one time).
(we inadvertently left it out of last week's bulletin, so guess what ... ?)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Requiescat in Pace


Birth. August 24, 1918, Auburn, diocese of Rochester, United States. His baptismal name is Avery Robert. Son of John Foster Dulles, United States Secretary of State, and Janet Pomeroy Avery Dulles; nephew of Allen Welsh Dulles, founding administrator of the Central Intelligence Agency; great-grandson of John Watson Foster, secretary of State of the United States; great-grandson of Theodore Medad Pomeroy, MC, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Education. Attended primary school in New York City and secondary education at private schools in Switzerland and New England. Raised a Presbyterian, he was a self-professed agnostic when he entered Harvard University in 1936. He converted to Catholicism on November 26, 1940. After graduation, served in intelligence in the Naval Reserve. In 1945 was decorated with the Croix de Guerre for his work in communication with the French navy. Later in 1945, he contracted polio in Naples, Italy. Joined the Society of Jesus, August 14, 1946, New York Province. Instructor of Philosophy, Fordham University, Bronx, New York, 1951-1953. Obtained a doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, 1960.

Priesthood. Ordained, June 16, 1956, Fordham University, New York, by Cardinal Francis Spellman, archbishop of New York. He was moderator of the freshman and sophomore Sodality of Our Lady, which included as its prefect sophomore Theodore McCarrick, later cardinal and archbishop of Washington, D.C. Later he was a member of the faculties of Woodstock College and of the Catholic University of America. Since 1988 he has been the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham University. Member of the International Theological Commission, 1991-1997. He has held fifteen visiting professorships and numerous positions in theological organizations including the presidency of the Catholic Theological Society of America and the American Theological Society, which was founded by a group of Protestant theologians including his grandfather Allen Macy Dulles, a distinguished Presbyterian theologian. Consultor to the Committee on Doctrine of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Considered as the preeminent American Catholic theologian, he has received numerous awards. Among them, Phi Beta Kappa, the National Catholic Book Award, the Religious Education Forum Award, as well as the Cardinal Spellman Award for distinguished achievement in theology. He also has received 21 honorary doctorates and is well known internationally as an author and a lecturer. He has published 21 books and over 650 articles, essays and reviews. Many of his writings interpret and communicate the messages of the Vatican II Ecumenical Council.

Episcopate. Requested to be dispensed from the requirement of episcopal ordination and the dispensation was granted by Pope John Paul II.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of February 21, 2001; received the red biretta and the deaconry of SS. Nomi di Gesù e Maria in via Lata, February 21, 2001. Promoted to the cardinalate when he was over 80 years old, and thus, he did not have the right to participate in the conclave.

Our Lady of Guadalupe - Patroness of the Americas

December 9th was the Feast of Saint Juan Diego, and December 12th is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Juan Diego is the Mexican (of Aztek ancestry) to whom the Blessed Mother appeared in 1531. Cuauhtlatoazin was born in 1474 and baptized as Juan Diego in 1524 by Spanish missionary Franciscans brought over to the New World by Cortez. Our Lady imprinted this image (see right) on the Juan Diego's tilma, as many know, and to this day scientists cannot explain HOW the image got there. It is not painted, dyed or sewn. The process cannot be duplicated by modern technology and neither can the source be ascertained other than that of supernatural origin. One of MANY interesting facts on the tilma is:

Ophthalmological tests have found that MARY's eye is a human eye that appears to be living, and includes the retina, in which is reflected the image of a man with outstretched hands—Juan Diego. The image in the eye conforms to the known laws of optics, particularly to that which states that a well-lighted object can be reflected three times in an eye (Purkinje-Samson's law). A later study allowed researchers to discover in the eye, in addition to the seer, Bishop Zumárraga and several other people present when the image of Our Lady appeared on the tilma. And the normal microscopic network of veins in the eyelids and the cornea of the Virgin's eyes is completely recognizable. No human painter would have been able to reproduce such details.

This feature in addition to the accurate astronomic details and other fascinating dimensions make the image even more incredible especially when one realizes that this goes back almost 500 years ago. If 21st century science cannot explain or replicate the process, what does that say? Incidentally, more pilgrims per year visit the Basilica in Mexico City to see the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe than any other pilgrimage site in the world. More than Saint Peter's in Rome; more than Lourdes or Fatima; more than Padre Pio's. Recently, a Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse was consecrated by Archbishop Raymond Burke.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Support the Grand Duke

Confraternity of Catholic Clergy
121 William St
Marysville, PA 17053
December 8th, 2008
Feast of the Immaculate Conception

H.R.H. Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg
Palais Grand-Ducal
L-1728 Luxembourg

Your Royal Highness,

On behalf of the priests and deacons of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, I extend our deepest gratitude for your decision to veto a bill which would legalize euthanasia in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Your courageous move is not only a testimony of your Catholic Christian faith but is also the mark of a true, virtuous ruler who seeks only the common good for his people in accord with the well established Natural Moral Law. Defending the innocent lives of the unborn and the terminally ill is not just a religious matter, but is an ethical and moral one which all human beings are expected to know and embrace, regardless of race, creed, or political affiliation. One of the most poignant lessons of the Second World War was that the Nazi atrocities were totally indefensible since they violated both Natural and International Law, both rooted in reason and thus applicable to every man and woman of history, past, present or future. The precepts of the Divine Law which govern believers further affirms that human life is sacred and must be given the utmost respect and protection. Even the ancient pagan Greeks and Romans demonstrated an awareness of moral principles which transcend time, territory, culture and language; which neither Caesar, the Senate nor even the People could dissolve or disregard. This recognition and adherence to a Natural Moral Law differentiates human beings from all other creatures since it affirms a universal human nature which establishes natural rights to each person, and not given or created by any constitution or government.

We pledge our prayers and support for Your Highness for doing the right thing for the right reason. If all civil leaders would follow the same virtuous path of doing the morally correct thing (in this case, vetoing an immoral bill), our society, culture and civilization would not only endure but thrive as well.

May Our Divine Lord and His Blessed Mother be with you and the people of Luxembourg.

Sincerely Yours,

Rev. John Trigilio, Jr. (President)

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