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Reconciliation in Confession.

Our Papa speaks about Confession even more so than his predecessors. Read all about it! Read all about it!

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Confraternity of Catholic Clergy – living in interesting times.

Cardinal Pell in the middle, from Australia and on the far right, Fr Peter Edwards of St Josephs New Malden.

On the left in second position I spy Fr Trujillo sm EWTN; Cardinal Pell in the middle from Australia and on the far right, Fr Peter Edwards , Parish Priest at St Josephs New Malden.

(Image from the Facebook page of Fr Marcus Holden)

Do you know that there is an association called the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy? Follow this link to find out a little more about the Confraternity in the USA and Australia. Here is the link to the British Confraternity, which leads to some interesting reading.

The British Province of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy was established ‘for the sanctification and support of Priests, and in promotion of authentic Priestly life, holiness and mission by Fidelity, Formation and Fraternity.’
Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/confraternities-of-catholic-clergy-reaffirm-churchs-teaching-on-marriage-an/#ixzz3PDK7Z7WS

Fr Peter Edwards, our parish priest at St Josephs New Malden, is a member of the British Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. Not only did he attend the second international conference of the Confraternities of Catholic Clergy in Rome this month (5th -9th January 2015), he also co-chaired the conference and concelebrated the Epiphany Mass with Pope Francis in St Peter’s Basilica. What an experience that must have been. Who would’ve thought? Our very own Fr Peter concelebrating with Papa Francisco! If there’s anyone who deserves this badge of honour, it’s Fr Peter.

The British branch of the confraternity was established following Benedict XVI’s Year for Priest’s in 2010 with the aim of “fidelity to Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the Magisterium, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Holy Father.” This is comforting knowledge.

This international conference brought together priests from the US, Australia, the UK, and Ireland. Each of these countries has an active confraternity which assists its clergy members to grow in zeal, learning and holiness.

Catholic clergy declare ‘unwavering fidelity’ to Church ahead of synod.(Directly quoted from the Catholic Herald.)

Statement from the Confraternities of Catholic Clergy in support of Marriage:
The International gathering of Confraternities of Catholic Clergy meeting in Rome (January 5th to 9th 2015), have discussed issues pertinent to the forthcoming Synod on the Family in response to the Holy Father’s call for reflection. The fathers pledge their unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality as proclaimed in the Word of God and set out clearly in the Church’s Ordinary and Universal Magisterium. Confraternity priests from Australia, Great Britain, Ireland and the United States commit themselves to the work of presenting anew the Good News about marriage and family life in all its fullness and helping, with the Lord’s compassion, those who struggle to follow the Gospel in a secular society. The Confraternities, furthermore, affirm the importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments and that doctrine and practice must remain firmly and inseparably in harmony.
We’re living in interesting times.

 

The Pope Francis List

I was once advised by my parish priest while in the Confessional, to pray for someone who is difficult to get along with. I am still praying and trusting in the Lord’s timing for the change to take place in our relationship, or the change in me that has to take place before our relationship improves. Until reading The Holy Father’s List, I didn’t think of befriending this person. I will be thinking and praying about this recommendation for a little while to come.

Do you have experiences or advice to share on point 7 of this list?

1. DON’T GOSSIP.
“When we gossip, we “are doing what Judas did,” and “begin to tear the other person to pieces. Every time we judge our brother in our hearts or worse when we speak badly of them with others, we are murdering Christians,” (The Holy Father, Pope Francis says. “There is no such thing as innocent slander.”2. FINISH YOUR MEAL.
“Throwing food away is like stealing from the tables of the poor, the hungry! I encourage everyone to reflect on the problem of thrown away and wasted food to identify ways and means that, by seriously addressing this issue, are a vehicle of solidarity and sharing with the needy.”3. MAKE TIME FOR OTHERS.
“If the Pope can find time to be kind to others, if he can pause to say thank you, if he can take a moment make someone feel appreciated, then so can I. So can we.” Fr. James Martin4. CHOOSE THE ‘MORE HUMBLE’ PURCHASE.
“Certainly, possessions, money, and power can give a momentary thrill, the illusion of being happy, but they end up possessing us and making us always want to have more, never satisfied. ‘Put on Christ’ in your life, place your trust in him, and you will never be disappointed!”5. MEET THE POOR ‘IN THE FLESH’.
“Hospitality in itself isn’t enough. It’s not enough to give a sandwich if it isn’t accompanied by the possibility of learning to stand on one’s own feet. Charity that does not change the situation of the poor isn’t enough.”

6. STOP JUDGING OTHERS.
“If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?”
“Let us not forget that hatred, envy, and pride defile our lives!”

7. BEFRIEND THOSE WHO DISAGREE.
“When leaders in various fields ask me for advice, my response is always the same: dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. It is the only way for individuals, families, and societies to grow, the only way for the life of peoples to progress, along with the culture of encounter, a culture in which all have something good to give and all can receive something good in return. Others always have something to give me, if we know how to approach them in a spirit of openness and without prejudice.”

8. MAKE COMMITMENTS, SUCH AS MARRIAGE.
“I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes that you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have the courage ‘to swim against the tide.’ Have the courage to be happy,”

9. MAKE IT A HABIT TO ‘ASK THE LORD’.
“Dear young people,” he says, “some of you may not yet know what you will do with your lives. Ask the Lord, and he will show you the way. The young Samuel kept hearing the voice of the Lord who was calling him, but he did not understand or know what to say, yet with the help of the priest Eli, in the end he answered: ‘Speak, Lord, for I am listening’ (cf. 1 Sam 3:1-10). You too can ask the Lord: What do you want me to do? What path am I to follow?”

10. BE HAPPY.
“Joy cannot be held at heel: it must be let go. Joy is a pilgrim virtue. It is a gift that walks, walks on the path of life, that walks with Jesus: preaching, proclaiming Jesus, proclaiming joy, lengthens and widens that path.”

(post on facebook@Gilbert ‘Gilbo’ Teodoro )

Set apart, marked, driven out, persecuted…and not one of the Western leaders condemn these atrocities!

Share this sign as a sign of solidarity with the Christians in Iraq

Share this sign as a sign of solidarity with the Christians in Iraq

Just in case you have come across this sign on social media sites and are not sure what it represents I thought I’d post it tonight in support of Christians in Mosul who are being crucified, murdered, tortured and forced out of Iraq for being Christian.The Pope has spoken out in support of these Christians, seemingly ‘forgotten’ by the Western leaders. Read articles here and here to understand the wider picture of the atrocities unfolding so far from us here in the West.

infographic …spreadshirts …pleasantly graphic …innovative …eye-catching …

Came across this infographic at one of the top Christian blogs in the UK – GOD AND POLITICS IN THE UK Take time to browse Informative and unbiased posts. www.catholicswithattitude.org sell T-shirts that will encourage comments at the very least or discussion at it’s best.

infographic @http://www.onlinechristiancolleges.com/pope-francis/

infographic @http://www.onlinechristiancolleges.com/pope-francis/

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Have we put a sign on the door saying , ‘Do not disturb?’

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Pope Francis , just as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, has taken up the soul inspiring challenge of St John Paul II who first called for a ‘New Evangelisation’ in his encyclical Redemtoris Missio nearly 24 years ago.

Pope Francis’ encyclical ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ (Evangelii Gaudium) is the long-awaited teaching of Pope Francis on the proclamation of the Gospel. Pope Francis is calling upon the Church and the world with encouragement to begin a new chapter in evangelization. This dynamic document is written in the plain, everyday language for which the Pope has become famous. 

At our parish Fr Robert Barron’s ‘Catholicism: the New Evangelisation’ is being shared with all parishioners who want to put their faith into action. This documentary and study programme, with the acclaimed Fr Robert Barron, focuses on the cultural obstacles which the Church faces today and sends us on our Mission with confidence and a message of great joy

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Picture poster advertising the new course for Catholics on the New Evangelization from Fr. Robert Barron. 

Pope Francis shares good counsel

Beautiful teaching from our Papa on Good Counsel. A must-read. (Full article teaching here.)

holy-spirit-rotator

image@www.advisorswithpurpose.ca

Spiritual nurture from the Holy Father

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!

We heard in the Reading of the passage from the Book of Psalms: “the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me” (Ps 16[15]:7). This is another gift of the Holy Spirit: the gift of counsel. We know how important it is in the most delicate moments to be able to count on the advice of people who are wise and who love us. Now, through the gift of counsel, it is God himself, through his spirit, who enlightens our heart so as to make us understand the right way to speak and to behave and the way to follow. But how does this gift work in us?

1. When we receive and welcome him into our heart, the Holy Spirit immediately begins to make us sensitive to his voice and to guide our thoughts, our feelings and our intentions according to the heart of God. At the same time, he leads us more and more to turn our interior gaze to Jesus, as the model of our way of acting and of relating with God the Father and with the brethren. Counsel, then, is the gift through which the Holy Spirit enables our conscience to make a concrete choice in communion with God, according to the logic of Jesus and his Gospel. In this way, the Spirit makes us grow interiorly, he makes us grow positively, he makes us grow in the community and he helps us not to fall prey to self-centredness and one’s own way of seeing things. Thus the Spirit helps us to grow and also to live in community. The essential condition for preserving this gift is prayer. We always return to the same theme: prayer! Yet prayer is so important. To pray with the prayers that we all learned as children, but also to pray in our own words. To ask the Lord: “Lord, help me, give me counsel, what must I do now?”. And through prayer we make space so that the Spirit may come and help us in that moment, that he may counsel us on what we all must do. Prayer! Never forget prayer. Never! No one, no one realizes when we pray on the bus, on the road: we pray in the silence of our heart. Let us take advantage of these moments to pray, pray that the Spirit give us the gift of counsel.

In intimacy with God and in listening to his Word, little by little we put aside our own way of thinking, which is most often dictated by our closures, by our prejudice and by our ambitions, and we learn instead to ask the Lord: what is your desire? What is your will? What pleases you? In this way a deep, almost connatural harmony in the Spirit grows and develops within us and we experience how true the words of Jesus are that are reported in the Gospel of Matthew: “do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak but the spirit of your Father speaking through you” (10:19-20). It is the Spirit who counsels us, but we have to make room for the Spirit, so that he may counsel us. And to give space is to pray, to pray that he come and help us always.

3. As with all of the other gifts of the Spirit, then, counsel too constitutes a treasure for the whole Christian community. The Lord does not only speak to us in the intimacy of the heart; yes, he speaks to us, but not only there; he also speaks to us through the voice and witness of the brethren. It is truly a great gift to be able to meet men and women of faith who, especially in the most complicated and important stages of our lives, help us to bring light to our heart and to recognize the Lord’s will!

I remember once at the Shrine of Luján I was in the confessional, where there was a long queue. There was even a very modern young man, with earrings, tattoos, all these things…. And he came to tell me what was happening to him. It was a big and difficult problem. And he said to me: “I told my mother all this and my mother said to me, go to Our Lady and she will tell you what you must do”. Here is a woman who had the gift of counsel. She did not know how to help her son out of his problem, but she indicated the right road: go to Our Lady and she will tell you. This is the gift of counsel. That humble, simple woman, gave her son the truest counsel. In fact, this young man said to me: “I looked at Our Lady and I felt that I had to do this, this and this…”. I did not have to speak, his mother and the boy himself had already said everything. This is the gift of counsel. You mothers who have this gift, ask it for your children, the gift of giving good counsel to your children is a gift of God.

Dear friends, Psalm 16[15], which we heard, invites us to pray with these words: “I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved” (vv. 7-8). May the Spirit always pour this certainty into our heart and fill us thus with the consolation of his peace! Always ask for the gift of counsel.

This item 10531 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org 

The act that touches the depth of our existence.

Dove, Jesus's Baptism Detail  By: Giusto De' Menabuoi

Dove, Jesus’s Baptism Detail
By: Giusto De’ Menabuoi

(From Catholic.org :- Bold type my emphasis.)

At his public audience on January 8, the first general audience of the calendar year, Pope Francis inaugurated a new series of catechetical talks, devoted to the sacraments.

Noting that the coming Sunday will be the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the Pope spoke on the importance of Baptism, which “grafts us to Christ and his Church.”

Baptism, the Pope emphasized, is “not a mere formality,” but “an act that touches the depth of our existence.” He strongly encouraged the faithful to learn the date of their Baptism, and celebrate that day each year. He observed that in the absence of some such celebration, “We end up considering it merely as an event that took place in the past – and not even by our will, but rather by that of our parents.”

Baptism makes the faithful “bearers of new hope,” the Pope continued, and that vocation should be lived out every day. He added that Baptism is a gift that we receive through someone else, since each Christian is baptized by another person in “an act of brotherhood, an act of affiliation to the Church.”

I have highlighted the main parts to the piece above. The phrase that stands out for me is ‘….not by our will, but rather by that of our parents’. The other statements contain a depth of meaning that continues to unfold for me as an adult Christian. Which sentence jumps out at you?

Baptism is a huge and pivotal milestone in anyone’s life, regardless of when you are Baptised. It is deemed to be so important  that my parents (probably urged on by my grandmother) wasted little time in having me Baptised – Grafting me to Christ and His Church. Parents only want the best for their children. To do what’s right. I know this because this is how we feel as parents, and we made the very same choice for our children.

Baptism is a sacrament which accomplishes several things, the first of which is the remission of sin, both original sin and actual sin—only original sin in the case of infants and young children, since they are incapable of actual sin; and both original and actual sin in the case of older persons. Holy Baptism holds the first place among the Sacraments, because it is the door of the spiritual life; for by it we are made members of Christ and incorporated with the Church.

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(From the Catechism of the Catholic Church)

1213 Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua),and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”

1214 This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to “plunge” or “immerse”; the “plunge” into the water symbolizes the catechumen’s burial into Christ’s death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, as “a new creature.”

1215 This sacrament is also called “the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one “can enter the kingdom of God.”

1216 “This bath is called enlightenment, because those who receive this [catechetical] instruction are enlightened in their understanding
. . . .” Having received in Baptism the Word, “the true light that enlightens every man,” the person baptized has been “enlightened,” he becomes a “son of light,” indeed, he becomes “light” himself:

Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift….We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God’s Lordship.

1229 From the time of the apostles, becoming a Christian has been accomplished by a journey and initiation in several stages. This journey can be covered rapidly or slowly, but certain essential elements will always have to be present: proclamation of the Word, acceptance of the Gospel entailing conversion, profession of faith, Baptism itself, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and admission to Eucharistic communion.

1230 This initiation has varied greatly through the centuries according to circumstances. In the first centuries of the Church, Christian initiation saw considerable development. A long period of catechumenate included a series of preparatory rites, which were liturgical landmarks along the path of catechumenal preparation and culminated in the celebration of the sacraments of Christian initiation.

1231 Where infant Baptism has become the form in which this sacrament is usually celebrated, it has become a single act encapsulating the preparatory stages of Christian initiation in a very abridged way. By its very nature infant Baptism requires a post-baptismal catechumenate. Not only is there a need for instruction after Baptism, but also for the necessary flowering of baptismal grace in personal growth. the catechism has its proper place here.

1232 The second Vatican Council restored for the Latin Church “the catechumenate for adults, comprising several distinct steps.” The rites for these stages are to be found in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). The Council also gives permission that: “In mission countries, in addition to what is furnished by the Christian tradition, those elements of initiation rites may be admitted which are already in use among some peoples insofar as they can be adapted to the Christian ritual.”

1233 Today in all the rites, Latin and Eastern, the Christian initiation of adults begins with their entry into the catechumenate and reaches its culmination in a single celebration of the three sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. In the Eastern rites the Christian initiation of infants also begins with Baptism followed immediately by Confirmation and the Eucharist, while in the Roman rite it is followed by years of catechesis before being completed later by Confirmati.

I sourced two family celebrations of Holy Baptism from way-back-when:-

Claire and Dawn

Dawn, Godmother to my sister Claire, wearing a mantilla in the 70’s. A beautifully serene photo.

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This, a picture of my brother-in-law’s Baptism which took place in 1959.I think this one’s particularly fetching of Richard, delineating a proud and upright sense of formality by the adults with an interesting take on the baby’s position during Baptism.

Anyone got Baptism pics to share that tells a story?

Cartoon from La Nacion

A recent cartoon in the La Nacion

A recent cartoon in the La Nacion

‘Blessed are you for Believing.’

As part of the Year of Faith, the theme of this year’s Marian Day is ‘Blessed are you for Believing.’ 

Pope Francis will consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on October 13th as part of Marian Day celebrations that will involve the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
The statue is normally kept in the Shrine of Fatima in Portugal but will be in Rome this weekend for the consecration which is one of the highlights of the ongoing Year of Faith.
Our Lady of Fatima appeared to three shepherd children in the village of Fatima in Portugal in 1917. She warned of violent trials in the twentieth century if the world did not make reparation for sins. She urged prayer and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

The statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

The  shrine at Fatima  where Our Lady appeared to the visionaries.

The shrine at Fatima where Our Lady appeared to the visionaries.

med_2011012511_pastorinhos_09Lúcia dos Santos with fellow visionaries Jacinta and Francisco Marto.

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The Basilica at Fatima.

It is hoped that the Year of Faith, declared by Pope Benedict XVI, has helped us to deepen this great gift which we can easily take for granted. The apostles begged the Lord to increase their faith as they knew Faith’s paramount importance in their relationship with Jesus. Jesus assures them and us that it takes only a little Faith, the size of a mustard seed, to make the impossible possible. Without doubt we need Faith to help us face the hostile atmosphere we often find ourselves surrounded with – life without God, love, hope and purpose. Faith, Hope and Charity (Love) make all the difference in our dealings with many who have lost the reason to live. We need that Faith which the apostles prayed for, so that we may be strengthened to stand firm and be of help to those who have lost faith in God, man/woman and themselves. Rightly it has been said, “the righteous shall live by his faith.” (Hab. 2:4)