I did get a little behind in writing about our saints - in - the - making series, but I decided it was time to get this one up. (On Mercy Sunday 2014) he'll be declared a saint so he'll no longer be a saint - in - the - making! Information on his life abounds, especially since yesterday's announcement by the Vatican that Pope Francis has "signed off" on naming him a saint. He is sometimes affectionately known as JPII. JPII was born Karol Wojtyla in Wadowice, Poland on May 18, 1920. He died in Rome on April 2, 2005. An extraordinary life occurred between these two dates. His mother died in 1929, leaving the 9 year-old with a special dedication to Mary, the Mother of God which would carry him throughout his life. His older brother died just three years later, leaving the boy with only his father. His keen awareness of political oppression led him to enroll in the university with a major in drama and to participate in dramatizations about politics - even after the Nazis closed the university. He discerned that God was leading him down a different path and began to study in secret for the priesthood. Karol was ordained in 1946. His eye witness to the atrocities of World War II, and the struggles of the people to over come them, significantly shaped his view of human life and suffering. He began his pontificate as a relatively young man. His predecessor, John Paul I died just one month after his election leading the Cardinal Electors to seek a younger man. JPII was athletic, a hiker who loved the mountains. He survived an assassination attempt not long after his election. You can read more at this Vatican website. This is from an article by Rev. James Martin on the recent announcement by Pope Francis "John Paul's popularity seemed only to grow as his papacy continued, and has remained strong among Catholics since his death. A man of firm faith, a tireless evangelist, and a strong foe oft both communism and poverty, the pope became, much as he might dislike the use of the word, a religious rock star. Perhaps the most admirable quality of the man was his determination: his early life laboring under a Communist regime in Poland, his incredible series of papal trips, and his long battle against Parkinson's disease showed the world spiritual grit." Read more HERE.
John Paul II's great interest, Respect for Human Life, was formed by his eyewitness to the atrocities of World War II
Is easy access to abortion a means to exterminate certain races? Read some of our links and then you tell us. Here is one statistic: black women are 4.8 times more likely to have abortions than white women. Here is the link for that statistic.
This movie takes a little time to watch and requires attention as it is done in Italian with sub-titles, but it is excellent and well worth the time. People often remember Pope Paul for Humanae Viate but he was much more than that. Take some time to get to know the man who shepherded us from Vatican II into the seventies.
Born: April 23, 1813
Link to America Magazine article on 50th anniversary of Pacem Terris.
Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli became Pope John XXIII in 1958. Born in 1881, he was already in his mid-seventies when he came to the papacy. It was thought that he would be a place-holder pope who would do nothing, but he really surprised the world,aith shaking up all of Catholicism with the Second Vatican Council. Unlike most holy people honored by the church, his feast day is not near the date of his death, but the day that he opened the Second Vatican Council, October 11, 1962. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Council and has been declared the Year of Faith by Pope Benedict XVI, who served the Council in the early 1960s at Rev. Joseph Ratzinger, theologian. The new openness with which the members of the Council approached their task and the documents generated by it make it among the most important events since the Reformation. The most important document (all of them are used) coming from the Council is Gaudium et spes (The Church in the Modern World).
Pope John XXIII died on June 3, 1963 from stomach cancer. He was born in northern Italy to parents who were from a long line of farmers who were also deeply faith-filled. He was sometimes called the Peasant Pope. The website from which the information above comes, also has recipes for favorite recipes related to the stories included. Check it out here.
Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli studied at the Pontifical Roman Seminary and was ordained on August 10, 1904 e served in the medical corps and as a chaplain during World War I. "As pope he stressed his own pastoral duties as well as those of other bishops and clergy. Promoted social reforms for workers, poor people, orphans, and the outcast. He advanced cooperation with other faiths and traditions including Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Church of England, and even Shinto. In April 1959 he forbade Catholics to vote for parties supporting Communism. His encyclical,Mater et Magistra of 14 July 1961 advocated social reform, assistance to underdeveloped countries, a living wage for all workers, and support for socialist measures that promised real benefit to society." See our source here. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in September 2000.
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“‘Come and see’ were the words Mother Teresa said to” Linda Schaefer, author and photojournalist when she sought permission to photograph the Missionaries of Charity at work. It is also the program that Mother Teresa offered young women considering dedicating their lives to God through her order. Born Agnes Bojhaxiu in Albania, she entered a convent in 1928 leaving in 1948 to go to work alone on the streets of Calcutta. In 1950 she founded the order with which she worked on the streets of India until her death on September 5, 1997. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 19, 2003. She is quoted (Wikipedia, 11/11/2012) as saying, . "By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus." Her sisters take a fourth vow to free service to the poorest of the poor.
I read once that when Blessed Teresa first began her service in India she wanted to sleep on the streets with the people she served. Her spiritual advisor pointed out that it in order to care for these “poorest of the poor” she needed to care for her own basic needs: spiritual, corporeal, social, and psychological. She ministered to the sick, poor, and dying for 45 years. She received multiple awards including the 1979 Peace Prize, the proceeds of which she asked to have donated to the poor of India. (Quoted in Wikipedia) “Mother Teresa stated that earthly rewards were important only if they helped her help the world's needy. When Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize, she was asked, "What can we do to promote world peace?" She answered "Go home and love your family." In her Nobel Lecture, she said: "Around the world, not only in the poor countries, but I found the poverty of the West so much more difficult to remove. When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread, I have satisfied. I have removed that hunger. But a person that is shut out, that feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person that has been thrown out from society—that poverty is so hurtable [sic] and so much, and I find that very difficult." She also singled out abortion as 'the greatest destroyer of peace in the world'.”
What do you think? There are no totally right answers.
Should missionaries go overseas to provide food, clothing, shelter, medical care etc. when there are people who lack adequate levels of those essentials in the United States? How do you define adequate?
Should the government be able to redistribute wealth? In the Acts of the Apostles, reference is made to having “everything in common.” Is it different if people voluntarily share what they have with others?
When companies move jobs overseas, those new jobs which replace them often pay at a lower level. This causes a decreased standard of living for those former workers. Those newly hired overseas make much less money, but can care for their families with the money they earn.
What do you think of women who choose a life of service like Blessed Teresa and her sisters.
Read about another modern day saint who helped very sick people: Father Damien who cared for lepers in the second half of the 19th century.
St. Thomas More at prayer. From the St. Thomas More Society of Santa Clara County
With the election season in full swing, I have been thinking a lot about politics and government. That led me to wonder if there might be a Patron Saint for Politicians. More was canonized in 1931 and named patron of politicians and statesmen in 2000 by Pope John Paul II. The website American Catholic, finds this interesting given More's propensity for honesty and integrity - resigning his office and going to his death to defend both his faith and the integrity of the state.
Thomas More was born in England in 1478. He was a scholarly man who was appointed to high office by his friend, King Henry VIII, at whose hands, he was also executed. More was not only a statesman, but also an author of the famous work, Utopia, an imagined world in which everyone lived harmoniously and with opportunity for all. Much of what More wrote was in defense of the Catholic faith (known as apologetics) and he corresponded with theologians (men and women who are experts in the study of God), including one who is particularly well known, Erasmus. More lived during the time period of the Protestant Reformation and much of his writings were in defense of the faith and against Martin Luther.
Just what happened between Thomas More and his friend the king that cost him his life? In 1532, More resigned his position as Lord Chancelor after Henry defied Rome and set himself as head of the Church of England. Henry's action was personal and not based on any theologocial reasoning at all - Rome had refused his request for an anullment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. More was asked to take an oath of loyalty to the king over the Pope as the supreme authority over English Christians. When he refused, his lands were taken from him and he was imprisoned. His family became impoverished. The next year found him at Westminster Hall on trial for treason. He was sentenced to death. His Feast Day is June 22.
Visit our sources for more information:
Visit the Page for Karoli Lwanga to see photographs of the WNY contingent and Fr. Ron (SMdP) saying Mass at the site.
We will be using multiple references to acquaint you with many different saints - some familiar - some not so familiar. Using this new format, you will be able to see archives (from August 2012 onward.) Enjoy, and let us know who you'd like to see featured next.
- Daily Prayer of the Church
- Reaching Out to Africa
- Mass and Sacrament Times
- St. Martin de Porres
- Blessed Trinity
- St. Katherine Drexel
- Ss. Columba-Brigid
- St Lawrence Bulletin
- Busted Halo Resources
- Minute Meditations With Mary
Links to Our Partners in Ministry
- Bishop of Rome
- Catholic Charities
- Official Vatican
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- NativityMiguel School Buffalo
- Peace Prints Prison Ministries
- Gerard Place
- TRY Program
- Children's Clinic at St. Lawrence
- Pax Chriti
- Buffalo Diocese
- Burning Bush House of Prayer/Prayer Groups
- New York State Catholic Conference
- Catholic Radio
- Faith-Based Counseling Services Blog
- On Life and Death
- Kids 0-3years
- Pre-School Kids