Friday, April 26, 2013

Ten Commandments - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ten Commandments - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue, are a set of biblical laws relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism, Islam and Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God, to keep the sabbath holy and prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, murder, theft, deception and adultery. Different groups follow slightly different traditions for interpreting and numbering them.
The Ten Commandments appear twice in the Hebrew Bible, in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy. According to the story in Exodus, God inscribed them on two stone tablets, which he gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. Modern scholarship has found likely influences in Hittite and Mesopotamian laws and treaties, but is divided over exactly when the Ten Commandments were written and who wrote them.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Atonement on Easter Sunday - CNN iReport

Atonement on Easter Sunday - CNN iReport
In theology, atonement is a doctrine that describes how human beings can be reconciled to God.[1] In Christian theology the atonement refers to the forgiving or pardoning of sin through the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion,[2] which made possible the reconciliation between God and creation. Within Christianity there are, historically, three[3] or four[4] main theories for how such atonement might work:
  • The penal substitution theory (which is a refinement of the Anselmian satisfaction theory developed by the Protestant Reformers, especially John Calvin, and is often treated together with the satisfaction view, giving rise to the "four main types" of atonement theories - classical or patristic, scholastic, and idealistic - spoken of by Aulen).[3]
  • The shared atonement theory, in which the atonement is spoken of as shared by all. To wit, God sustains the Universe. Therefore if Jesus was God in human form, when he died, we all died with him, and when he rose from the dead, we all rose with him.[5][6]

Saturday, March 30, 2013

St. Pius X Catholic Community

St. Pius X Catholic Community
Celebration of Easter Vigil* – 7:30 p.m.
(*Vigil will begin outside)
Fellowship / Refreshments
Morning Prayer – 8:30 a.m.
Blessing of the Easter Food Baskets – 11:00 a.m.
Eucharist – 7:30, 9:30 & 11:30 a.m.
Children’s Easter Egg Hunt following 11:30 a.m.
Misa de Pascua – 4:00 p.m.

St. Gertrude Catholic Parish

St. Gertrude Catholic Parish
EASTER VIGIL, Saturday, March 30
11:00 a.m. Blessing of Easter Food
3 – 4:00 p.m. Confessions
7:30 p.m. Easter Vigil Mass
* Striking of the New Fire
(done jointly this year with Immanuel Lutheran Church,
7:15pm at Elmdale and Greenview)
* Blessing of the Easter Water
* Re-telling the stories of Salvation History
* Entrance of Catechumens into full communion with the Catholic Church
* Hymn to This Most Sacred of Nights
The Celebration Continues…
Masses * Church: 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m.
* St. Gertrude East: 9:30 a.m. (Sheridan & Granville)
* Gym: 10:30 a.m., includes Liturgical Dance

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Feast of St.Joseph

Feast of St.Joseph
St. Joseph's Day is a big Feast for Italians because in the Middle Ages, God, through St. Joseph's intercessions, saved the Sicilians from a very serious drought. So in his honor, the custom is for all to wear red, in the same way that green is worn on St. Patrick's Day.

Today, after Mass (at least in parishes with large Italian populations), a big altar ("la tavola di San Giuse" or "St. Joseph's Table") is laden with food contributed by everyone (note that all these St. Joseph celebrations might take place on the nearest, most convenient weekend). Different Italian regions celebrate this day differently, but all involve special meatless foods: minestrone, pasta with breadcrumbs (the breadcrumbs symbolize the sawdust that would have covered St. Joseph's floor), seafood, Sfinge di San Giuseppe, and, always, fava beans, which are considered "lucky" because during the drought, the fava thrived while other crops failed (recipes below).

The table -- which is always blessed by a priest -- will be in three tiers, symbolizing the Most Holy Trinity. The top tier will hold a statue of St. Joseph surrounded by flowers and greenery. The other tiers might hold, in addition to the food: flowers (especially lilies); candles; figurines and symbolic breads and pastries shaped like a monstrance, chalices, fishes, doves, baskets, St. Joseph's staff, lilies, the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, carpentry tools, etc.; 12 fishes symbolizing the 12 Apostles; wine symbolizing the miracle at Cana; pineapple symbolizing hospitality; lemons for "luck"; bread and wine (symbolizing the Last Supper); and pictures of the dead. There will also be a basket in which the faithful place prayer petitions.

The cry "Viva la tavola di San Giuse!" begins the feasting and is heard throughout the day. When the eating is done, the St. Joseph's altar is smashed, and then three children dressed as the Holy Family will knock on three doors, asking for shelter. They will be refused at the first two, and welcomed at the third, in memory of the Holy Family's seeking of hospitality just before Christ was born. This re-enactment is called "Tupa Tupa," meaning "Knock Knock."

The day ends with each participant taking home a bag that might be filled with bread, fruit, pastries, cookies, a medal of St. Joseph, a Holy Card and/or a blessed fava bean. Keep your "lucky bean," and let it remind you to pray to St. Joseph. (The Litany of St. Joseph would be most appropriate today! You can download the Litany, in Microsoft Word .doc format, in English and in Latin).

Recipes for the day:

Minestrone (serves 4)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, with leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can of tomatoes, with juice
1 large can white beans (Cannelli beans or Navy beans)
5 cups beef or vegetable stock
1/2 cup flat parsley, finely chopped
1 cup finely sliced, then roughly chopped Swiss Chard (or spinach or cabbage, or some combination)
2 zucchini, unpeeled and cut into little cubes
1/2 cup small pasta (like ditalini)
For garnish: freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

Sauté the onion and celery in the oil til wilted, toss in garlic and stir for a minute, then put in cut-up tomatoes and cook down for about 10 minutes to concentrate flavors. Stir in beef stock, reserved tomato juice, and beans and bring to a boil. Add half the parsley, lower heat, and cook for about 30 minutes.

Add Swiss chard (or spinach or cabbage), zucchini, and pasta and cook at a gentle boil until pasta is tender.

When ready to serve, stir in the rest of the parsley. Season to taste and grate in some black pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve with the parmesan and a crusty bread.

Pasta di San Giuse (pasta with breadcrumbs that symbolize sawdust)

Note: This recipe came from my parish's website, and was said to be in tribute of "Mamma Giglio." I don't know who Mamma Giglio is, but I don't want to omit the dedication to an Italian Mamma!

Cooked pasta

2 TBSP olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 cups chopped fresh fennel
2 cups crushed tomatoes
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 TBSP chopped fresh basil
4 cans of drained, skinless, boneless sardines

Heat oil in large pot, and saute in it the garlic and pepper flakes. Add the fennel, tomatoes, paste, and basil. Cover and let simmer 30 minutes 'til fennel is tender. Add the sardines and simmer a few more minutes.

1 TBSP olive oil
1 cup fine homemade breadcrumbs

Heat oil, and add crumbs and heat until golden brown. Pour sauce over the pasta, then sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.

Sfinge di San Giuseppe (St. Joseph's Cream Puffs)

1 cup water
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 TBSP sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt
1 cup sifted flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 TBSP Cognac or vanilla

2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup grated dark chocolate
2 TBSP finely chopped pistachios

Powdered sugar
Lemon rind

Put water, butter, granulated sugar, lemon rind, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, and as soon as the butter has melted, remove from heat. Add the flour all at once, stirring constantly and with vigor.

Return the pan to the heat, and stir constantly until the mixture forms a ball and comes away from the sides of the pan. Cook just a little longer, until you hear a slight crackling, frying sound. Remove the pan from the heat, and cool slightly.

Add the eggs, one at a time. Be sure that each egg is thoroughly blended into the mixture before you add the next. Stir until smooth and thoroughly blended . Add the Cognac or vanilla. Cover the dough and let it stand for 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400º F.

Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonsful on a buttered cookie sheet or onto parchment-lined sheet (better!), leaving 2 inches between the sfinge. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.

Filling: Mix the ricotta, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate, and pistachios. Just before serving (so they don't get soggy!), cut off the tops of the sfinge and fill; place top back on after filling. Arrange on platter, sprinkle with powdered sugar to make them pretty, and garnish platter with lemon rind.

Fava Beans

1 lb. dried fava beans
1 bunch green onions
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
chopped parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook dried fava beans in boiling water until tender, adding more water as needed. Sauté seasonings in olive oil 'til tender, then add to beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in soup bowls.

A most fascinating and beautiful thing that happens today is the return of the cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) to the Mission of San Juan Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano, California. The mission -- one of the oldest buildings in California, and a part of a string of 21 missions that line California's coast -- was founded on 1 November 1776, the Feast of All Saints, by the Franciscan priest, Petrochelidon pyrrhonotaBl. Junipero Serra, in honor of St. John Capistrano. It was begun the year before, with members of a friendly Indian tribe helping to build, but when word came that the Mission of San Diego was attacked by an unfriendly Indian tribe, the bells were buried and everyone took shelter until building could continue.

When the mission was finally completed, a small town grew up around it, and this is where the legend of the swallows -- "las golondrinas" -- begins. It is said that one of the priests noticed a storekeeper in town angrily sweeping down the swallows’ nests and chasing away the "dirty birds." The priest, being a Franciscan, of course invited the poor little birds to the Mission where there was "room for all." The birds, sensing the spirit of St. Francis around the place, followed and have remained loyal to the Mission ever since. No matter the origins of the story, the fact is that each year on 23 October, the swallows fly south for 7,500 miles to Goya, Argentina. There they winter until the end of February when they make their way home, arriving back at the Mission of Capistrano on St. Joseph's Day, where they are greeted with the ringing of church bells and great festivities. Click hear to listen to the chatter of these lovely birds. A love song was written with this return of the swallows as its focal point; it was recorded by the Ink Spots, Glenn Miller, Pat Boone, and Elvis Presley (click here for an MP3 of the Inkspots's version of this lovely song):

When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano
Words and Music by Rene Leon, Copyright © 1940/1969

When the swallows come back to Capistrano
That's the day you promised to come back to me.
When you whispered farewell in Capistrano
'Twas the day the swallows flew out to the sea.

All the mission bells will ring
The chapel choir will sing
The happiness you'll bring
Will live in my memory.

When the swallows come back to Capistrano
That's the day I pray that you'll come back to me.

While the altar candles burn
My heart is burning too
If you should not return
I'll still be waiting for you.

When the swallows come back to Capistrano
That's the day I pray that you'll come back to me,
That's the day I pray that you'll come back to me.

St. Joseph is symbolized by carpenters' tools and the lily, and is usually represented in art holding the Baby Jesus. He is the patron of the Church, the dying, a holy death (because it is believed he died in the company of Our Lord and Lady), happy family life, married people, carpenters, workers, and the fight against Communism. Other devotions and customs related to St. Joseph throughout the year include:

Thousands pack St. Peter's Square for Pope Francis' inauguration -

Thousands pack St. Peter's Square for Pope Francis' inauguration -

BBC News - Pope Francis inauguration Mass due in Vatican

BBC News - Pope Francis inauguration Mass due in Vatican

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lombardi: Mass for Inauguration of Petrine Ministry of Francis I, Tuesday March 19th

Lombardi: Mass for Inauguration of Petrine Ministry of Francis I, Tuesday March 19th

Fr. Lombardi confirmed that the Mass for the inauguration of the Petrine Ministry will be held March 19TH , the feast of St. Joseph, at 09:30 Rome time.
He also confirmed that the Mass for the closure of Conclave will be at 17:00 Thursday in the Sistine Chapel. On Friday, at 11 a.m., there will be an audience with the College of Cardinals in the Clementine Hall. That on Saturday 11 a.m. Pope Francis I will have audience with all journalists and media covering conclave- an announcement greeted with a round of applause in the briefing hall. And finally on Sunday Pope Francis will recite Angelus at noon.
Thursday, Pope Francis will make a private visit to a sanctuary of Our Lady on Thursday March 14th, but details will be released only when this visit is over.

Diocese of Joliet

Diocese of Joliet
Prayer for the Pope

O God, who in your providential design
willed that your Church be built
upon blessed Peter, whom you set over the other Apostles,
look with favor, we pray, on Francis our Pope
and grant that he, whom you have made Peter's successor,
may be for your people a visible source and foundation
of unity in faith and of communion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

BBC News - Pope Francis: St Peter's crowds hear Angelus prayer

BBC News - Pope Francis: St Peter's crowds hear Angelus prayer
On Tuesday, March 19, 2013, the new Pope Francis I celebrates the Inaugural at the Vatican in Rome, Italy.

BBC News - Northern Ireland

BBC News - Northern Ireland 

St Patrick's Day: Thousands due at parades in NI

Woman takes part in St Patrick's Day parade in 2012

Related Stories

Saint Patrick's Day parades will be taking place across Northern Ireland on Sunday.

One of the biggest parades is in Belfast, where thousands are expected to take part in the carnival.

The parade will leave city hall at noon and will make its way to Custom House Square. Several roads will be closed and delays are expected from 11:00 GMT.

Other parades are in Downpatrick, County Down, Londonderry, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, and Armagh.

Up to 15,000 are expected in Belfast for the parade on Sunday.

It will be followed by an open air concert, headlined by the X-Factor's Amelia Lily, at Custom House Square.

There is a series of events during a three-day festival in the city, including dramas, talks, exhibitions, and arts and crafts.

These will take place in a number of venues across the city including the Ulster Hall, the Linenhall Library, An Cultúlann, St George's Market and the Oh Yeah Music Centre.

Meanwhile, in Downpatrick, the parade will leave the Ardglass Road in the town at 14:30 GMT on Sunday.

About the same time, a procession in Londonderry will head off from Derry City Council car park.

Part of the Strand Road will be restricted to one lane.

In Enniskillen, the parade starts at the Lakeland Forum at 15:30 GMT.

There will also be a carnival parade in Armagh city centre from noon, as well as an afternoon of music.

More details on the parades can be found on the relevant councils' websites.

You can check the situation on the roads on twitter at @BBCNITravel.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lorica of St. Patrick

Lorica of St. Patrick
Lorica of Saint Patrick: I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness 
Of the Creator of creation. 

I arise today 
Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism, 
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial, 
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs, 
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men. 

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven; 
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea, 
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock. 

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me, 
God's wisdom to guide me, 
God's eye to look before me, 
God's ear to hear me, 
God's word to speak for me, 
God's hand to guard me, 
God's way to lie before me, 
God's shield to protect me, 
God's hosts to save me 
From snares of the devil, 
From temptations of vices, 
From every one who desires me ill, 
Afar and anear, 
Alone or in a mulitude. 
I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul, 
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry, 
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul. 
Christ shield me today 
Against poison, against burning, 
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, 
Christ on my right, Christ on my left, 
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, 
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, 
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, 
Christ in the eye that sees me, 
Christ in the ear that hears me. 

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation

St. Patrick (ca. 377)

st patrick

Read more:

St. Patrick and The Book of Kells: Happy St. Patrick’s Day! | cozybookbasics

St. Patrick and The Book of Kells: Happy St. Patrick’s Day! | cozybookbasics

Old St. Patrick's Church Celebration for the Feast of St. Patrick's Day on March 17th

Old St. Pat's Church For the Glory of God; For the Love of Mankind, Stained Glass Windows by Thomas A. O'Shaughnessy at Old St. Pat's Church Old St. Pat's Church Jim McLoughlin lectures about the stained glass windows designed and installed by Thomas A. O'Shaughnessy during the community tour at Old St. Pat's Church Old St. Pat's Church

Friday, March 15, 2013

BBC News - Pope Francis calls for evangelism drive

BBC News - Pope Francis calls for evangelism drive



13 March 2013

Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum;
habemus Papam:

Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum,
Dominum Georgium Marium
Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Bergoglio
qui sibi nomen imposuit Franciscum

Making Manuscripts

Making Manuscripts An illuminated manuscript is a book written and decorated completely by hand. Illuminated manuscripts were among the most precious objects produced in the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance, primarily in monasteries and courts. Society’s rulers–emperors, kings, dukes, cardinals, and bishops–commissioned the most splendid manuscripts. Excerpt: In the Middle Ages parchment was used to make the pages of books. Parchment was made from the skins of animals. The transition from a fresh skin to a surface suitable for writing was a slow and laborious process. The parchment maker selected skins of sheep, goats or calves. Skins were soaked in lime water for three to ten days to loosen the animals hair. The parchment maker then scraped away the hair and any remaining flesh after this the skin was soaking fresh water to remove the lime and then stretched tightly on a frame.

St. Patrick and The Book of Kells: Happy St. Patrick’s Day! | cozybookbasics

St. Patrick and The Book of Kells: Happy St. Patrick’s Day! | cozybookbasics

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

Cardinal Francis George said the pope's choice of a name was 'a complete surprise' -

Cardinal Francis George said the pope's choice of a name was 'a complete surprise' -

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Old St. Patrick's Church » Celtic Celebration

Old St. Patrick's Church » Celtic Celebration

Monday, March 11, 2013 – 7:30 p.m.

Symphony Center

Enjoy an evening filled with stirring musical collaborations featuring the Metropolis Symphony Orchestra, Old St. Patrick’s Concert Choir, dancers, Celtic instrumentalists, Pipers, a special guest narrator and renowned vocalists, including Rodrick Dixon.
Tickets will go on sale February 4 at the
Symphony Center Box Office:
call 312.294.3000, or online at

Date: March 11, 2013
Time: 7:30 P.M.
Place: Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Cost: $22 – $55
Tickets: Tickets may be purchased through Symphony Center Box Office, 312.294.3000, or
Proceeds benefit Old St. Patrick’s Church.

St. Joseph's Day Table Hosted by St. Pius X Catholic Community

St. Pius X Church St. Joseph's Table Sunday, March 10 The St. Pius X Catholic Community invites the public to celebrate the feast of St. Joseph by attending the annual St. Joseph's Day Table on Sunday, March 10th from 12:30 - 3:30 PM in the Social Center, 601 S. Westmore Ave. in Lombard. Enjoy an array of salads, pastas, breads, pastries and more. This is a wonderful opportunity to traditionally honor St. Joseph, while gathering with family and friends and sharing a festive meal. You can also take a chance on a raffle prize.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Meet Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the man running the Vatican as next pope is sought | PIX 11

Meet Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the man running the Vatican as next pope is sought | PIX 11
The Papal Apartment was sealed up in Vatican City late Thursday night, just hours after Pope Benedict XVI abdicated his position and retired from public life. The ritual involves taping up the doors to the former pope’s bedroom and study, and then tying one of the doors with a symbolic red ribbon—a sign that nothing should be disturbed until a successor is chosen.

Overseeing the entire process was the man who will be running the Vatican until the next pontiff is chosen. His name is Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone.
Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone.
Overseeing the Vatican now is Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone.
78-year-old Cardinal Bertone is the Vatican’s Secretary of State—the number two to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI—and now, he’s taken control of the Apostolic Palace, until a new pope is elected.
An Italian newspaper reported last week that he was pushing the name of New York’s Cardinal — Timothy Dolan — as a papal candidate.
Papal apartment is sealed
The Papal Apartment is sealed according to tradition.
The Cardinals assembled in Rome received a letter Friday from Angelo Cardinal Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, asking them to meet this Monday, March 4, for a “general congregation”.
On Monday, they could set the date for the secret conclave that will elect the next pope.

Read more:

Chicago's Cardinal Francis George reflects on the meaning of Pope Benedict XVI's retirement -

Chicago's Cardinal Francis George reflects on the meaning of Pope Benedict XVI's retirement -

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Retires on the last day of February 2013

Last February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI announced his retirement as supreme pontiff on the last day of month, February 28th, due to his advanced age and deteriorating health with a heart pacemaker. During March a conclave would be convened shortly thereafter to elect a new pope. Joseph Alois Ratzinger was born in Marktl am Inn, Bavaria, on April 16,1927--Holy Saturday--and baptized that same day--the first person baptized in the new Easter water. It was a sign of blessing, he wrote in his memoir, that his life from the beginning was thus immersed in the Easter mystery. He entered the minor seminary in 1939 at the age of twelve, but his studies were interrupted by World War II, when the seminary was closed and Joseph, along with most of his class, was drafted into the army at the age of sixteen. After the war he resumed his education in philosophy and theology, and together with his brother, Georg, was ordained a priest in 1951. During the course of a twenty-year career as a professor of dogma and theology at several German universities, he earned the reputation of a gifted lecturer and learned scholar, and was present as a peritus, or theological advisor, at all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council. He was ordained an archbishop in May of 1977 and elevated to the College of Cardinals a month later. He settled in Rome in 1981 and went on to become one of the most influential men in Roman curia. Of the many offices he held, he is best known as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, an authoritative advisor on doctrinal issues during his predecessor's pontificate. When he was elected the 265th successor of Peter in 2005 at the age of seventy-eight, he became the first German pope since Victor II in the eleventh century. A central theme of his papacy has been the staunch defense of core Christian values against what he sees as moral decline across much of Europe. At the same time, he has sought to improve his relations with other religions, trying to determine if a "cultural synthesis" is possible without losing the identity of the faith while engaged in discourse with the Lutheran World Federation, Judaism, Islam, the Anglican Communion, and Christian Orthodox Churches. He has also spoken out against abuses of human rights and ongoing political conflicts and warfare, and has advocated better protection of the environment. He has called for a radical rethinking of the global economy, criticizing the growing divide between rich and poor, and has pressed for a "true world political authority" to oversee the economy and work for the common good. Ever true to his episcopal motto, "Fellow Worker in the Truth," Pope Benedict XVI's teaching and prolific writings have always defended traditional Catholic doctrine and values.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Papacy Of Pope Benedict XVI Highlighted His Pastoral, Scholarly, Holy Life, Says Cardinal Dolan

Papacy Of Pope Benedict XVI Highlighted His Pastoral, Scholarly, Holy Life, Says Cardinal Dolan

Statements from on Pope Benedict XVI's Abdication

Statements from on Pope Benedict XVI's Abdication, a national grassroots Catholic advocacy organization, issued the following statements in reaction to the news of Pope Benedict XVI's planned abdication:

Brian Burch, President of

"Catholic Americans join their brothers and sisters in the Faith around the world in humble acceptance of the decision today by Pope Benedict XVI to leave the Chair of Peter later this month. This historic decision comes fittingly as the Church prepares to enter the season of Lent, where marked with ashes, we are reminded of our human limits and utter dependence on the grace and providence of the Lord of history. We are mindful that the universality of the Church is particularly visible during these historic events where the prayer, tradition, and grandeur of Catholicism are on display for the world. We give thanks for the rich pontificate of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, and await with joyful hope and prayer the workings of the Holy Spirit in our Church in the weeks ahead."

Thomas Peters, Author, American Papist Blog, and Editor of Blog:

"Pope Benedict has been speaking openly about the precedent of a pope stepping down due to age or health for years — so this is not totally unexpected. In retrospect, he probably has been trying to prepare us for just such a moment as this one. Even though we have the modern memory of Bl. John Paul II serving heroically until his last breath does not mean every modern pope will do so. That said, this has not happened in 600 years. Nevertheless, be not afraid! The Holy Spirit is ultimately in charge of guiding, protecting and providing for the Church of Christ. Let nothing you dismay. We must all be praying to the Holy Spirit today and throughout Lent for the future of the Church and for the next pope."


Friday, January 11, 2013

New Challenges. New Solutions. 2013 National Crime Victims' Rights Week: April 21-27th

In the year 2013, the National Crime Victims' Rights Week takes place from Sunday, April 21st through Saturday, April 27th, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crimes in order to inspire our communities to observe the Victims of Crimes Act of 1984 (VOCA). The Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) was an attempt by the federal government to help the victims of criminal actions through means other than punishment of the criminal. It created a federal victims-compensation account funded by fines assessed in federal criminal convictions, and it established provisions to assist state programs that compensated the victims of crimes. The compensation system is still in existence, having distributed over $1 billion in funds since it began. The statute, codified at 42 U.S.C.A. § 10601, was a direct result of a task force set up by the Justice Department under the auspices of President Ronald Reagan called the President's Task Force on Victims of Crime, the report issued by the task force in 1982 was harshly critical of existing victims-compensation programs. "In many states, program availability is not advertised for fear of depleting available resources or overtaxing a numerically inadequate staff. Victim claims might have to wait months until sufficient fines have been collected or until a new fiscal year begins and the budgetary fund is replenished," according to the report. VOCA established the Crime Victim's Fund, which is supported by all fines that are collected from persons who have been convicted of offenses against the United States, except for fines that are collected through certain environmental statues and other fines that are specifically designated for certain accounts, such as the Postal Service Fund. The fund also includes special assessments collected for various federal crimes under 18 USC § 3613, the proceeds of forfeited appearance bonds, bail bonds, and collateral collected, any money ordered to be paid into the fund under section 3671(c)(2) of Title 18; and any gifts, bequests, or donations to the fund from private entities or individuals. The first $10 million from the fund, plus an added amount depending on how much has been deposited in the fund for that fiscal year, goes to child-abuse prevention and treatment programs. After that, such sums as may be necessary are made available for the U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to improve services for the benefit of crime victims in the federal criminal justice system, and for a Victim Notification System. The Office for Victims of Crimes has chosen this year's theme to be: "New Challenges. New Solutions." The mission of the OVC's strategic initiative is called Vision 21: Transforming Victims Services in the 21st century for the new millennium. According to Joye E. Frost, the Acting Director for the Office for Victims of Crimes, "in spite of all our progress, victims' rights laws in all 50 states, the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, and the more than 10,000 victim service agencies throughout the United States of America--there are still enduring and emerging challenges for victims of crimes in America." About 50 percent of violent crimes are not reported, and only a fraction of victims receive the help they need. There are still ongoing investigations to know and find out more about these victimss, how to help them in the best way, and how the victims' services can be targeted to reach every victim. While adapting to funding cuts, globalization, changing demographics, new types of violent crimes, and the changes (both good and bad) brought by technology. These 21st century new challenges call for bold, new solutions. The promise and commitment of our Vision 21, will pave the way to the ongoing work with victims during the 2013 National Crime Victims' Rights Week, in order to transform victims' services in the 21st century--Office for Victims of Crime, Joye E. Frost, Acting Director