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St. Michael
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do you, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. Advertise Now

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PHOTO OF THE MONTH

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REFLECTIONS

"Jesus' Baptism"

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John's baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the "baptism" of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus' baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God's suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father's will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God? Read More »

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR PRIESTS

SPECIALS

On the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, last June 19, 2009, the 7th Annual World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priest was celebrated; Pope Benedict XVI has proclaimed June 19, 2009-June 10, 2010 as the beginning of "Year of the Priest". The said celebration organized four masses through four different countries. The first mass was from Sydney Australia, the second mass from Kerala India, The third mass was from Knock Shrine Ireland and the fourth mass was from New York USA. The following is a beautiful prayer for the priest that may be said;

Dear Lord,
We pray the Blessed Mother
Wrap her mantle around your priest
And through her intercession
Strengthen them for their ministry.


We pray that Mary will guide your priests
To follow her own words,"Do Whatever He tells you"
(jn 2:5)


May your priests have the heart of St. Joseph,
Mary's most chase spouse.


May the Blessed Mother's own pierced heart inspire them to embrace
All who suffer at the foot of the cross.


May your priests be holy,MO
Filled with the fire of your love
Seeking nothing but greater glory
And the salvation of souls. Amen.


O Mary, Queen of Priest, pray for us
Saint John Vianney, pray for us.


Below is a copy of the address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Members of the Congregation for the Clergy on the Occasion of their Plenary Assembly as translated by Zenit:


***

Your Eminences,

Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood, I am glad to be able to welcome you at a special Audience on the eve of my departure for Africa, where I am going to present theInstrumentum Laboris of the Second Special Assembly of the Synod for Africa that will be held here in Rome next October. I thank Cardinal Cláudio Hummes for the kind words with which he has interpreted the sentiments you share and I thank you for the beautiful letter you wrote to me. With him, I greet you all, Superiors, Officials and Members of the Congregation, with gratitude for all the work you do at the service of such an important sector of the Church's life.


The theme you have chosen for this Plenary Assembly "The missionary identity of the priest in the Church as an intrinsic dimension of the exercise of the tria munera" suggests some reflections on the work of these days and the abundant fruit that it will certainly yield. If the whole Church is missionary and if every Christian, by virtue of Baptism and Confirmation quasi ex officio (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1305), receives the mandate to profess the faith publicly, the ministerial priesthood, also from this viewpoint, is ontologically distinct, and not only by rank, from the baptismal priesthood that is also known as the "common priesthood". In fact, the apostolic mandate "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole of creation" (Mk 16: 15) is constitutive of the ministerial priesthood. This mandate is not, as we know, a mere duty entrusted to collaborators; its roots are deeper and must be sought further back in time.


The missionary dimension of the priesthood is born from the priest's sacramental configuration to Christ. As a consequence it brings with it a heartfelt and total adherence to what the ecclesial tradition has identified as apostolica vivendi forma. This consists in participation in a "new life", spiritually speaking, in that "new way of life" which the Lord Jesus inaugurated and which the Apostles made their own. Through the imposition of the Bishop's hands and the consecratory prayer of the Church, the candidates become new men, they become "presbyters". In this light it is clear that the tria munera are first a gift and only consequently an office, first a participation in a life, and hence a potestas. Of course, the great ecclesial tradition has rightly separated sacramental efficacy from the concrete existential situation of the individual priest and so the legitimate expectations of the faithful are appropriately safeguarded. However, this correct doctrinal explanation takes nothing from the necessary, indeed indispensable, aspiration to moral perfection that must dwell in every authentically priestly heart.


Precisely to encourage priests in this striving for spiritual perfection on which, above all, the effectiveness of their ministry depends, I have decided to establish a special "Year for Priests" that will begin on 19 June and last until 19 June 2010. In fact, it is the 150th anniversary of the death of the Holy Curé d'Ars, John Mary Vianney, a true example of a pastor at the service of Christ's flock. It will be the task of your Congregation, in agreement with the diocesan Ordinaries and with the superiors of religious institutes to promote and to coordinate the various spiritual and pastoral initiatives that seem useful for making the importance of the priest's role and mission in the Church and in contemporary society ever more clearly perceived.


The priest's mission, as the theme of the Plenary Assembly emphasizes, is carried out "in the Church". This ecclesial communal, hierarchical and doctrinal dimension is absolutely indispensable to every authentic mission and, alone guarantees its spiritual effectiveness. The four aspects mentioned must always be recognized as intimately connected: the mission is "ecclesial" because no one proclaims himself in the first person, but within and through his own humanity every priest must be well aware that he is bringing to the world Another, God himself. God is the only treasure which ultimately people desire to find in a priest. The mission is "communional" because it is carried out in a unity and communion that only secondly has also important aspects of social visibility. Moreover, these derive essentially from that divine intimacy in which the priest is called to be expert, so that he may be able to lead the souls entrusted to him humbly and trustingly to the same encounter with the Lord. Lastly, the "hierarchical" and "doctrinal" dimensions suggest reaffirming the importance of the ecclesiastical discipline (the term has a connection with "disciple") and doctrinal training and not only theological, initial and continuing formation.


Awareness of the radical social changes that have occurred in recent decades must motivate the best ecclesial forces to supervise the formation of candidates for the ministry. In particular, it must foster the constant concern of Pastors for their principal collaborators, both by cultivating truly fatherly human relations and by taking an interest in their continuing formation, especially from the doctrinal and spiritual viewpoints. The mission is rooted in a special way in a good formation, developed in communion with uninterrupted ecclesial Tradition, without breaks or temptations of irregularity. In this sense, it is important to encourage in priests, especially in the young generations, a correct reception of the texts of the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council , interpreted in the light of the Church's entire fund of doctrine. It seems urgent to recover that awareness that has always been at the heart of the Church's mission, which impels priests to be present, identifiable and recognizable both for their judgement of faith, for their personal virtues as well as for the habit, in the contexts of culture and of charity.


As Church and as priests, we proclaim Jesus of Nazareth Lord and Christ, Crucified and Risen, Sovereign of time and of history, in the glad certainty that this truth coincides with the deepest expectations of the human heart. In the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, that is, of the fact that God became man like us, lies both the content and the method of Christian proclamation. The true dynamic centre of the mission is here: in Jesus Christ, precisely. The centrality of Christ brings with it the correct appreciation of the ministerial priesthood, without which there would be neither the Eucharist, nor even the mission nor the Church herself. In this regard it is necessary to be alert to ensure that the "new structures" or pastoral organizations are not planned on the basis of an erroneous interpretation of the proper promotion of the laity for a time in which one would have "to do without" the ordained ministry, because in that case the presuppositions for a further dilution of the ministerial priesthood would be laid and possible presumed "solutions" might come dramatically to coincide with the real causes of contemporary problems linked to the ministry.


I am certain that in these days the work of the Plenary Assembly, under the protection of the Mater Ecclesiae, will be able to examine these brief ideas that I permit myself to submit to the attention of the Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops, while I invoke upon you all an abundance of heavenly gifts, as a pledge of which I impart a special, affectionate Apostolic Blessing to you and to all your loved ones.

 

TYPE KEYWORDS OF THE MONTH
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LIVES OF THE SAINTS

JANUARY 1
MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

Today we begin our new year at the Eucharistic Celebration. We thank God for Mary, Jesus' mother..
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JANUARY 2
ST. BASIL AND ST. GREGORY NAZIANZEN

Sts. Basil and Gregory were born in Asia Minor in the year 330. This area is modern-day Turkey..
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JANUARY 3
ST. GENEVIEVE

St. Genevieve was born around 422 in Nanterre, a small village four miles from Paris. While still very young..
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JANUARY 4
ST. ELIZABETH ANN SETON

St. Elizabeth was called "Mother Seton" by everyone knew her by when she died on January 4, 1821..
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JANUARY 5
ST. JOHN NEUMANN

St. John Neumann was not only quiet, he was short-five feet, two inches tall. His eyes were very kind..
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JANUARY 6
BLESSED ANDRE BESSETTE

St. Alfred Bessette was born on August 9, 1845, not far from Montreal, Canada. He was the eighth..
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JANUARY 7
ST. RAYMOND OF PENYAFORT

St. Raymond was born between 1175 and 1180 in a little town near Barcelona, Spain. He was educated at..
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JANUARY 8
ST. THORFINN

St. Thorfinn's life were discovered in details long after his death. He died in 1285, in a monastery in Belgium. Fifty years later, his tomb..
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JANUARY 9
ST. JULIAN AND ST. BASILISSA

St. Julian and St. Basilissa were husband and wife. They lived in the early part of the fourth century.
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JANUARY 10
ST. WILLIAM

St. William came from a wealthy French family. Even as a boy, he did not waste time fooling around or being idle.
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JANUARY 11
ST. THEODOSIUS

St. Theodosius was born in Asia Minor in 423. As a young man, he set out on pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
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JANUARY 12
ST. MARGUERITE BOURGEOYS

St. Marguerite was born in Troyes, France, on April 17, 1620, but spent most of her eighty years in..
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JANUARY 13
ST. HILLARY OF POITIERS

St. Hilary was born into a pagan family on 315 in Poitiers, a town in France. His family was rich and well-known. Hilary received a good education.
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JANUARY 14
ST. MACRINA

St. Macrina and her husband learned the high price of being true to their Christian beliefs.
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JANUARY 15
ST. PAUL THE HERMIT

St. Paul was born into a Christian family in the year 229. They lived in Thebes, Egypt. Paul's parents showed him by their own lives how to love God..
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JANUARY 16
ST. BERARD AND COMPANIONS

Six Franciscan friars accepted from St. Francis of Assisi an assignment to go to Morocco. They were to announce Christianity to the Muslims.
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JANUARY 17
ST. ANTHONY OF EGYPT

St. Anthony was born in 251 in a small village in Egypt. When he was twenty years old, his parents died. They left him a large estate and placed him in charge of the care of his young sister.
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JANUARY 18
BLESSED CHRISTINA

Blessed Christina lived in the sixteenth century. She was born in Abruzzi, Italy. Her baptismal name was Matthia. As she grew up, Matthia felt the call to a life of prayer and penance.
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JANUARY 19
ST. CANUTE

St. Canute was a strong, wise king of Denmark. He lived in the eleventh century. Canute was a great athlete, an expert horseman, and..
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JANUARY 20
ST. FABIAN AND ST. SEBASTIAN

St. Fabian was a pope who died a martyr in 250. It was during the persecution by Emperor Decius.
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JANUARY 21
ST. AGNES

St. Agnes was a Roman girl who died in 304. She was just twelve years old when she suffered martyrdom..
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JANUARY 22
ST. VINCENT OF SARAGOSSA

St. Vincent was martyred in Spain in 304. This was the same year that Agnes was martyred in Rome.
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JANUARY 23
ST. JOHN THE ALMSGIVER

St. John was a dedicated Christian nobleman. He used his wealth and position to help poor people. After his wife passed away, John became a priest and bishop. In 608, he was consecrated the patriarch of Alexandria..
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JANUARY 24
ST. FRANCIS DE SALES

St. Francis was born at the de Sales castle in Savoy, France, on August 21, 1567. His wealthy family provided him with an excellent education. By the age of twenty-four, Francis was..
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JANUARY 25
CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL

St. Paul lived at the time of Jesus but as far as we know they never met. Paul was first called Saul. As a young man, he was a very bright student of..
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JANUARY 26
ST. TIMOTHY AND ST. TITUS

St. Timothy was born in Lycaonia in Asia Minor. His mother was a Jew and his father was a Gentile.
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JANUARY 27
ST. ANGELA MERICI

St. Angela was born in the small Italian town of Desenzano, Italy, around 1474. Her parents died when she was ten. She and her only sister, who was three years older, loved each other..
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JANUARY 28
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS

St. Thomas lived in the thirteenth century. He was the son of a noble family of Italy. He was very intelligent, but he never boasted about it. He knew that his mind was a gift from God.
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JANUARY 29
ST. GILDAS

St. Gildas was born around the year 500 in Britain. He set out as a young man to practice a self-sacrificing lifestyle.
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JANUARY 30
ST. BATHILDIS

St. Bathildis was a frightened, Christian English girl could have never imagined what her future would be like.
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JANUARY 31
ST. JOHN BOSCO

St. John Bosco was born in Turin, Italy, on August 16, 1815. His parents were poor farmers. When John was two, his father died. John's mother struggled to keep the family together.
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