Friday, June 29, 2007

Venus and Saturn will converge this week end.

Venus and Saturn will converge this weekend, reaching their closest proximity at 5:33AM EST on Sunday. click here for details.

Vatican has announced that Benedict XVI's long awaited letter to Catholics in China will be released on Saturday

Vatican City, June 29 (CNA).-The Vatican has announced that Benedict XVI's long awaited letter to Catholics in China will be released on Saturday at noon. The letter is part of the Holy Father's plan to address the situation of Catholics who have been divided by the government's attempts to control the Church there.

The current situation of division began in 1951 when the officially atheist Communist Party took power and forced Catholics to cut ties with the Vatican. Presently, worship is allowed only in the government-controlled churches which are not allowed to acknowledge the leadership of the Pope. Millions of Chinese, however, belong to unofficial congregations loyal to Rome.

Benedict has been reaching out to Beijing in an effort to restore diplomatic ties and unite China's estimated 12 million faithful. The Chinese government and the Vatican have remained divided over the government's refusal to allow the Pope to appoint bishops and to exercise his papal authority.

Benedict's decision to address Chinese Catholics in a letter came out of high-level talks on China at the Vatican in January.

The Vatican statement on the letter, issued yesterday, provided a general indication of the letter's contents by speaking of the interest in pursuing "respectful and constructive dialogue" with the government while paying tribute to those Catholics who have suffered for their loyalty to the pope.

Vatican watchers have said they expect the pope will stress the unity of the Catholic Church in the document, which Italian news reports said would be about 28 pages long and read like a mini-encyclical.

The reaction of the Beijing government and the underground faithful will be vitally important. Some underground priests have already expressed resentment about the pope's outreach to the government and the official church, according to the "official" bishop of Shanghai, Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian.

According to the International Herald Tribune's source, Agostino Giovagnoli, a commentator on Vatican-China relations, "There will be two different reactions." The underground bishops may resent the pope's recognition of the fact that many "official" bishops who were consecrated without Rome's consent have since reconciled with the Holy See, he said.

"Maybe the reaction of the official bishops will be better," he said.

Benedict made clear from the outset of his papacy two years ago that improving relations with China was a key priority.

He has sent envoys to Beijing to sound out the government on the possibility of restoring ties, and he invited four Chinese bishops — from the official and underground churches — to a meeting of the world's bishops in 2005. Beijing did not let any of the four attend.

Pope Benedict formally declared a special year dedicated to St. Paul

Vatican, Jun. 29, 2007 ( - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) formally declared a special year dedicated to St. Paul, as he opened the celebration of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul with a Vespers service on June 28.

In his homily during the service, the Pontiff said that today's Church needs the dedication of Christians as courageous as St. Paul in bringing the message of the Gospel to a secular society. "Now as then," he said, "Christ needs apostles who are willing to sacrifice themselves."

In his early years Saul of Tarsus was hostile to Christianity, the Pope recalled. But after his profound conversion on the road to Damascus he became a fearless preacher and missionary. His energy and his bravery were essential to the growth of the early Church, the Pope noted.

Today's Christians must be similarly bold, the Pope continued. He said that the message of the Church "lacks credibility" unless there are some people ready to make sacrifices on behalf of the truth-- "to pay for their faith in every situation."

The feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, patrons of Rome, is a holiday at the Vatican, and the offices of the Holy See were closed on June 29. After opening the celebration with a Thursday-evening Vespers service at the basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls, the Holy Father presided at Mass in St. Peter's basilica on Friday.

During the ceremony the Pope imposed the pallium symbolic of metropolitan authority on 46 archbishops who had been appointed during the past year. As has become customary, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople sent a delegation, headed by Metropolitan Emmanuel Adamidis of France, to join in the celebration at the Vatican.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mother Teresa video clips

I hope you will take a moment to scroll down the left hand column to find some short Mother Teresa video clips. To view them, just click on the image and then scroll to the top of this blog where it will play.


Expected Motu Proprio to be published July 7, German newspaper announces

Vatican City, Jun 27, 2007 / 03:21 pm (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI intends to publish his Motu Proprio liberating the Mass of St. Pius V on July 7, 2007 announced today the Vatican correspondent for the German newspaper Die Welt, Paul Badde.

Badde reported today that Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, presented a copy of the Motu Proprio universally liberating the Tridentine Mass to some 30 bishops from different countries at the Sala Bologna of the Apostolic Palace.

See entire article here.

Calling all soccer moms and baseball dads...

Our friend, Lisa Hendey from Catholic Mom.Com has an article over at Catholic Online urging parents to get more physically active along with their kids. Take a moment and read this short fun article.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Holy Father, Benedict XVI has brought back the traditional method for electing a new Pope

From Catholic News Agency:

Vatican City, Jun 26, 2007 / 09:02 am (CNA).- It was announced today that the Holy Father, Benedict XVI has brought back the traditional method for electing a new Pope. Under Pope John Paul II, the procedure was changed to a series of ballots punctuated with time for reflection and prayer if a pontiff was not chosen within the first three days.

The change back to the traditional rules was made public today in a "Motu Proprio," written in Latin. In the letter, Benedict XVI restores the traditional norm concerning the majority required for the valid election of the Supreme Pontiff to two thirds of the cardinals present.

Read entire article here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Pope pays a visit to Secret Archives and defends the work surrounding Pius XII

From Catholic News Agency:

Vatican City, Jun 25, 2007 / 09:35 am (CNA).- On a visit to the Papal Library and the Vatican’s Secret Archives this morning, Pope Benedict came to the defense of those whose work involves the case of Pope Pius XII. Accusations have been made by critics of the World War II era pope, in particular by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, that the archivists have withheld incriminating documents.

The charges frequently leveled against Pope Pius XII include anti-Semitism and having aided Hitler. However, none of the charges has ever been substantiated.

The critics of the pontiff requested that Pope John Paul II open the secret archives from the reign of Pius XII before the normal period of secrecy ended so that they could prove their case. The late Holy Father granted permission to open the archives early.

Read entire article here.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Fr. James's Sunday Homily

Be a Witness
A number of years ago I was invited to give a retreat to a group of lay people in New York City. A seminarian graciously accompanied me in order to help with the practical details. Prior to the evening retreat, we had a number of appointments, and so that meant that we would have lunch in New York. The seminarian really enjoyed Asian cuisine, so I accommodated his palate by inviting him to lunch at a Korean restaurant.
As we went to our table, we were met by a Korean woman who graciously attended us with delicate courtesy. Having had many years of experience at my father's restaurant, I was able to notice that her kindness, manners, and spirit of service were far from ordinary.
Towards the end of the meal, another Korean woman finished waiting on our table. When we were ready, I asked her for the check. She then proceeded to tell me that there would be no charge for the lunch because the first waitress took care of the bill. I was very surprised and I asked her why she had decided to pay for our meal. "She is Christian", was the unanticipated answer from the waitress.
"She is Christian", meant that all the other waitresses were not Christian, and that all though encountering a free meal in the middle of downtown New York City surprised me, they were not surprised at all. They knew that this woman was different. Because of her Christianity, she was different.
This is just one example of what it means to be a witness. The Korean woman, through her profound generosity, gave an amazing witness to all of her co-workers. She is Christian.
Why is an obscure figure of the Bible relevant for us today? Why does the Catholic Church present John the Baptist for our reflection?

St. John the Baptist commands our interest because he is a witness. By his witness, he reminds us that we are called to be witnesses. And in any age, to be a witness is challenging.

When John baptized the multitudes on the banks of the Jordan, we must realize that John was not the only one baptizing and preaching. Baptism rituals even took place at the monastery of Qumran. However, there was something different about John the Baptist. There was something unique about his preaching and his baptism.

The witness of John the Baptist begins with his birth. The miraculous circumstances of his conception and birth direct our attention to the mysterious and transcendent. An angel announces his birth to a woman well beyond childbearing years. His father is struck dumb for his disbelief. As an infant, John, leaps in his mother's womb when he is in the presence of the Messiah's mother. Upon his birth, he is given not his father's name, but rather the name, John, which translates "Yahweh is gracious". With the giving of this name spoken by the angel, John's father, Zechariah, recovers his power of speech. Thus the miraculous circumstances surrounding his beginnings give witness to a sacred world, a world reaching beyond time and space.

Modern man needs to experience the transcendent. He needs to understand with his heart that there is much more to our earthly existence than the here, the now, the material, and the secular. Our experience of the beauty of the Catholic Mass should bring about this necessary encounter. If life is restricted to only what we can see, touch, make, and do, then we run the risk of leaving God out of our lives altogether. Sunday worship could become simply a shallow social gathering of the community rather than a profound, life changing transcendent experience of mystery and redemption.

As an adult, John’s chosen surroundings bear witness to a different reality. He is a man of the desert. He totally separates himself from the world in order to give testimony of another world. Within his solitude he is able to hear the voice of God. Between the center of Judea and the Dead Sea exists one of the most austere deserts of the world. John the Baptist made this place his home. His home is a testimony of what our souls must be in order to listen to God and to possess him. Our journey during this Advent should bring about a deeper detachment from earthly creatures so that we may come closer to God. Detachment from material things is so important if we wish to truly experience the presence of God in our lives.

Moreover, John's manner of dressing bears witness as well. He does not clothe himself in the garments of the leaders of his day. And just as his location is counter-culture, going against the prevailing wisdom of his day, so also is his dress. Through his garment of camel's hair, John shows how important it is to be simple and detached from the things of this world. Riches make a soul soft and incapable of the rigorous walk of faith. Obsession with the latest fad clouds our minds and prevents us from focusing on the things that are really important.

John's food also bears witness. The gospels tell us that he eats locusts and wild honey. Like his living conditions and his dress, his food is also simple. People cannot resist a witness like John. Many people provide messages that they themselves do not live up to. But John not only preaches a message, he is the message. Because his beliefs and his actions are one and the same, people listen to what he says. He is an authentic witness because he himself is authentic.

John's preaching is a witness of the truth. His message is effective because he is completely empty of himself. He does not preach himself. He points to someone beyond himself. “I am baptizing you with water for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals” (Matthew 3: 11). Like Paul who comes after him, John is completely lost in the One whom he proclaims. For this very reason Jesus cries out to the crowds: "I tell you, of all the children born to women, there is no one greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he" (Luke 7: 28).

John, the great witness, preaches the truth of Christ to the massive crowds of people that listen to him. These are people who are hungry for the truth. They are tired of the burdens imposed upon them by their own leaders, the Pharisees, and the foreign leaders represented by King Herod. The human soul cannot be kept locked up in the body by repressive systems that continue to lie. Despite the many difficulties that confront the modern world, more and more people are breaking away from the bonds created by sin, materialism, and secularism, and are actually living out truly spiritual lives.

To those seeking the baptism that John offers the people in the waters of the Jordan, God gives the multitudes an opportunity to repent of their sins. John's baptism is a testimony of the baptism that will eventually come through Jesus Christ. "A voice of one crying out in the desert: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths'“(Matthew 3: 3).

John's ultimate witness comes in his death. John is a man who is one with his mission and his message. His is incapable of denying either one. In any age the truth will always meet opposition. Jesus makes this very clear to those wishing to be his disciples. In any age, there are those who hear only what they want to hear. In any age, there are those who will do any thing in order to continue living a lie – even kill. King Herod personifies those human beings who from the beginning of time until the end of time, choose to live a lie, rather than the truth. From the depths of the dungeon, John's martyrdom is a testimony that every disciple of Jesus must persevere.

“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15: 5-6).

St. John the Baptist, a difficult personage of the Bible to understand and perhaps even to relate to, is very relevant for us today. He is a great witness precisely because he is the link between the Old and New Testaments. He is the last of the prophets who announces the coming of the Messiah. He is the first of the disciples who proclaims his coming: "Behold, there is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world" (John 1: 29).

John the Baptist is still relevant for us because as in any age, our age has an urgent need for disciples like John the Baptist. Our world has an urgent need for witnesses.

We must witness that our identity is centered on true spirituality, and that our morality derives from that spirituality. We must witness that our faith challenges many of the values of the dominant secular culture. We must witness that our traditions have great meaning for us. We must witness that challenging commitments offer firm principles by which we may live our lives. We must witness that adherence to traditional morality often comes at a considerable personal cost: perhaps of losing family, friends, even jobs. We must witness that what we have found in Christ Jesus is true, real and worth living out to the ultimate consequence. We must witness that our seeking solely for lasting happiness as the meaning of life is an indictment of the falsehoods of past generations. We must witness by striving for personal holiness, authenticity and integration. Witness has no room for complacency, hypocrisy, or self-indulgence.

“For all Christians, wherever they live, are bound to show forth, by the example of their lives and by the witness of the word, that new man put on at baptism and that power of the Holy Spirit by which they have been strengthened at Conformation. Thus other men, observing their good works, can glorify the Father and can perceive more fully the real meaning of human life and the universal bond of the community of mankind” (Second Vatican Council, Ad Gentes Divinitus, 11).

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Benedict tells bishops of Togo to evangelize and care for the family, addresses formation of priests

From Catholic News Agency:

Vatican City, Jun 22, 2007 / 08:42 am (CNA).- This morning Pope Benedict received the Bishops of Togo, Africa and exhorted them to evangelize the family, the youth, and through the Catholic schools.

The Holy Father began his address to the bishops by thanking them for "your perseverance and courage in the face of the numerous difficulties your country has had to face over past years. On many occasions," he told them, "you have contributed to dialogue for national reconciliation.”

After highlighting the African prelates' commitment "to protecting and respecting life," Benedict XVI explained that "the promotion of the truth and dignity of marriage, and the defense of essential family values, must be one of your major priorities.

One topic that the pontiff paid particular attention to was the necessity of forming couples and families. He noted that evangelization begins in the family and that in the family young people learn the value of being uniquely faithful and committed.

To read entire article click here.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pope Benedict this morning calls for peace

Vatican City, Jun 21, 2007 / 09:33 am (CNA).- This morning, Pope Benedict told participants in the annual Meeting of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches (ROACO), of his "pain and concern for the delicate situation affecting vast areas of the Middle East." The Holy Father reiterated his concern and call for peace in a separate meeting with the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East.

He described the current situation in the Middle East by saying, "Peace, becomes even more fragile because of injustices, old and new. Thus it is extinguished altogether and gives way to violence which often degenerates into more or less open war until it ends up, as in our own time, as an urgent international problem."

Read the full story from the Catholic News Agency about Pope Benedict calling for peace in the Middle East here.

Summer Solstice, Space Shuttle landing, and "discovery" on Mars

Go on over to Catholic Exchange and read Mary's insightful article about the Summer Solstice.

Did you know that the seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earth's axis. Summer in the Northern Hemisphere occurs when the northern part of the Earth is tilted toward the sun? More here about the Summer Solstice and how and why seasons change.

Check out space shuttle photos and information about the landing today.

And check out an artcle about Mars and the discovery that it used to have oceans.

This is thrilling! View an Online Telescope here!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Quiet here on Daily Donna-Marie yesterday, but not at home!

It was quiet on my blog yesterday, but not at home! My daughter arrived home from Bangladesh where she was doing a research project for college. Needless to say, I am in my glory with "all my ducklings in a row," as my husband says. Go on over to my blog Embracing Motherhood for some "Tips on Tuesday," including one on prayer from Karen Edmisten and a tip on "Getting There on Time" from me!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fr. James's Homily: 11th Sunday in Ordinary time

Chastity Is Not An Easy Virtue To Live
Lust, one of the seven deadly sins, challenges us daily to a duel over who is to be in control. For most people of our times, the battle to regulate our appetites and to acquire the virtue of chastity involves a dramatic struggle. Lust is a powerful and destructive force that needs to be dealt with very seriously.

We can uproot lust from our hearts only through the regular practice of the virtue of chastity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man's belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman. The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift" (CCC 2337).

For entire homily click here.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Feast of The Immaculate Heart of Mary

"O name of Mary! Joy in the heart, honey in the mouth, melody to the ear of her devout clients!"--Saint Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)

"Mary is our mother, the cause of our joy. Being a mother, I have never had difficulty in talking with Mary and feeling close to her."--Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

"The contemplation of Christ has an incomparable model in Mary. In a unique way the face of the Son belongs to Mary. It was in her womb that Christ was formed, receiving from her a human resemblance which points to an even greater spiritual closeness. No one has ever devoted himself to the contemplation of the face of Christ as faithfully as Mary. The eyes of her heart already turned to him at the Annunciation, when she conceived him by the power of the Holy Spirit. In the months that followed she began to sense his presence and to picture his features. When at last she gave birth to him in Bethlehem, her eyes were able to gaze tenderly on the face of her Son, as she 'wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger' (Lk2:7)."--Pope John Pail II, APOSTOLIC LETTER ROSARIUM VIRGINIS MARIAE

Father, you prepared the heart of the Virgin Mary to be a fitting home for Your Holy Spirit. By her prayers may we become a more worthy temple of Your glory.

Catholic Authors..."Let's get this party started!"

Please take a moment to read this short article by Cherly Dickow in support of Catholic authors and summer reading at Catholic Online.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary

I invite you to visit Minnesota Mom for a prayer for the Sacrd Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Friday, June 15, 2007

Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I put my trust in you!

Topics, topics, and topics!

Hello Moms,

Feel free to leave a comment for a suggested topic for a future show on my "Mom's Corner" segment with Teresa Tomeo on "Catholic Connection" on Ave Maria Radio.

Thanks and God bless!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Vatican official says Amnesty International 'betrayed its mission'

Vatican official says Amnesty International 'betrayed its mission'

NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (CNS) -- With its new stance supporting the legalization of abortion around the world, Amnesty International 'has betrayed its mission,' said Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, in an e-mail interview with the National Catholic Register. The Register, based in North Haven, also quoted Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan, an iconic figure in pacifist and human rights circles, repudiating the new Amnesty position. 'One cannot support an organization financially or even individually that is contravening something very serious in our ethic,' the priest said. Cardinal Martino said, 'I believe that, if in fact Amnesty International persists in this course of action, individuals and Catholic organizations must withdraw their support because, in deciding to promote abortion rights, AI has betrayed its mission.' Amnesty International, a widely respected human rights organization, had been officially neutral on abortion until this April, when its Executive Committee adopted a new position calling for the decriminalization of abortion around the world.

Words to ponder...

Mt 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother,
Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My daughter, Jessica

The other day I asked for prayers for my daughter, Jessica who has been in Bangladesh for a few weeks doing a research project for college. A few days ago she sent me an email telling me that a monsoon was coming and I hadn't heard from her after that. That's when I put out the plea for prayers because I heard that a monsoon hit Bangladesh and at least 130 people were killed. I wasn't able to reach my daughter. I could only wait, pray, trust and ask for prayers. It seems like an eternity when a mother is waiting for news about her child and when she is helpless; not able to get the news herself. I thank you all for your wonderful generous prayers. I just heard from Jessica! She is fine. Thank you dear Lord, Jesus!

Please let us continue to pray for the victims and their families in Bangladesh. Most of the people who died were killed in their sleep from a mudslide.

Thank you from my heart for your prayers!
God bless you!

Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, priest and doctor of the Church

St. Anthony of Padua
Doctor of the Church

From Catholic Online:

Saint Anthony was canonized (declared a saint) less than one year after his death.

There is perhaps no more loved and admired saint in the Catholic Church than Saint Anthony of Padua, a Doctor of the Church. Though his work was in Italy, he was born in Portugal. He first joined the Augustinian Order and then left it and joined the Franciscan Order in 1221, when he was 26 years old. The reason he became a Franciscan was because of the death of the five Franciscan protomartyrs -- St. Bernard, St. Peter, St. Otho, St. Accursius, and St. Adjutus -- who shed their blood for the Catholic Faith in the year 1220, in Morocco, in North Africa, and whose headless and mutilated bodies had been brought to St. Anthony’s monastery on their way back for burial. St. Anthony became a Franciscan in the hope of shedding his own blood and becoming a martyr. He lived only ten years after joining the Franciscan Order.
For entire article click here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Please pray for my daughter who is in Bangladesh where a monsoon just killed 130 people

Please pray for my daughter, Jessica and all of the people in Bangladesh. My daughter is there doing a research project for college. The other day she emailed to say that a monsoon was coming! Today I heard that 130 people were killed from the monsoon. I haven't heard from my daughter since her email. Please pray for her and for all there. Needless to say, we are praying the Sacred Heart novena below and the Rosary. Thank you very much!

Saint Padre Pio's Novena Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

1) O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, ask and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you." Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of...

Our Father...Hail Mary...Glory Be to the Father...Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all of my trust in you.

2) O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you." Behold, in your name, I ask for the grace of...

Our Father...Hail Mary...Glory Be to the Father...Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all of my trust in you.

3)O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away." Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of...

Our Father...Hail Mary...Glory Be to the Father...Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all of my trust in you.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of You, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender mother and ours.

Say Hail Holy Queen and add: St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.

This prayer was recited every day by Padre Pio for all those who asked for his prayers. The faithful are invited to recite it daily, so as to be spiritually united with the prayer of Saint Pio.

We are called to be salt and light

In today's Gospel, Matthew 5:13-16:

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”

Are we willing to be salt of the earth and a light to the world?

Mom's Corner on Catholic Connection!

Once again I invite you to listen in to the "Mom's Corner" segment THIS MORNING at 9:10 AM to 9:30 AM EASTERN time on Ave Maria Radio show, Catholic Connection with Teresa Tomeo. I am getting to be a bit of a pain in the neck, aren't I? :)

God bless you!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Embracing Motherhood!

I have started a new blog dedicated to motherhood. You can visit it here. If you would like to submit a verse or piece you have written about motherhood that will edify and inspire, feel free to email it to me and it may be posted on my "Friends on Fridays" at Embracing Motherhood. Feel free to stop by often for motherly sentiments!

I hope and pray that Embracing Motherhood will edify mothers everywhere!

God bless!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

"Mom's Corner" on "Catholic Connection" radio show

Hello Moms and Grand moms!

On Tuesday morning, June 12th from 9:10 AM to 9:30 AM EASTERN TIME I will be launching my radio segment for Moms with the wonderful Teresa Tomeo of "Catholic Connection" on Ave Maria Radio. You can tune in right from your computer! Feel free to call in with a question or comment about "Passing our faith to our children."

I hope to hear from you!
God bless!

Fr. James's Homily: The Feast of Corpus Christi

Without The Priest There Is No Eucharist

The Feast of Corpus Christi reminds us that we possess an immense treasure. When a Catholic priest takes a little piece of unleavened bread and repeats the words that Jesus spoke at the Last Supper, "This is my body", and when he takes a small of amount of wine in a chalice and says, "This is my blood", the bread is no longer bread and the wine is no longer wine.

At every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we participate in a marvelous miracle, the miracle called Transubstantiation. Transubstantiation cannot be proved through scientific experimentation.

Transubstantiation belongs to the reality of faith. Faith does not contradict reason. Instead, the gift of faith that we receive at Baptism, gives us a superior vision.

For entire homily click here.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

"Jesus' Incarnation and Presence in the Eucharist confounds the wisdom of men"

From Catholic News Service:

Rome, Jun 8, 2007 / 09:03 am (CNA).- Christ’s incarnation and presence in the Eucharist “puts into crisis the wisdom of men”. So the Pope spoke this past Thursday, at 7 p.m., on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi).

To mark the feast, Benedict XVI celebrated Mass in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, and afterwards presided over a Eucharistic Procession from St. John’s Basilica until the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. The Pope greeted the Romans gathered there, together with the Cardinal Vicar of Rome, Mons. Camillo Ruini, and other cardinals and bishops present at the celebration.

For entire article click here.

Friday, June 8, 2007

How much bacteria are you eating?

The beautiful warmer weather is upon us and so is the time to be outdoors at picnics and barbecues...good stuff, right? Of course, family bonding, lots of fun throwing that frisbee around, breaking away from our ordinary routine to spend quality time together, but...did you ever stop to think about the bacteria that is growing and growing in this warmer weather, or about the safe handling of raw meat and stuff like that? No, I'm not a hypochondriac, I'm just a concerned Mom wanting to pass on a few tips that I have learned along the way.

My daughter came home from school the other day and shared a few things she learned in science class. One of them is that when you are making soup, chili or a pot of something on the stove and mix it occasionally, then set your spoon down on a plate nearby to pick up again and again, stirring the soup - you are inadvertently putting bacteria along with the love into what you thought was a nourishing home cooked meal for your family. The bacteria continues to grow on the spoon that is left on the counter. Yuck!

Another situation we may not be aware of is that cold deli items, cold cuts, and meats that are in our carriages while we are grocery shopping are subject to growing bacteria because they are not being refrigerated at the proper temperature (even though the store may feel cool with the air conditioning). It's best to shop for the deli items and meats last, right before checking out.

What horrifies me the most is that people may unintentionally poison their children! I know I may sound dramatic, but some people don't realize the dangers of taking cooked food off the grill and putting it on the SAME PLATE they used to carry the uncooked chicken or beef out to the grill on. PLEASE don't do that! Children have died from Ecoli poisoning from that very situation. Utensils that have touched raw meat must be washed thoroughly and not reused to touch other food. Let's not get LAZY at the grill. Dads and husbands (who often "man" the grill) have to learn the proper handling for these foods in these temperatures and take every precaution. You can never be too careful when it comes to raw meats. Also the fact that the burgers or chicken may be out on that plate near the grill for awhile before cooking, introduces bacteria. Keep everything refrigerated properly and don't take it outside until you are ready to put it on the grill. Of course we know that we have to be careful of salads and mayonnaise outdoors, as well.

My daughter had Salmonella poisoning one time from chicken strips she got from Arby's while out with a friend and I will tell you that it is not something that you wouldn't want even your worst enemy to have. It can kill you. I kept vigil at her side, giving her sips of fluids every few minutes to rehydrate her constantly because of the fluids she continued to lose...this goes on for months (the acute stage being within the first couple of weeks). Need I say more? The health inspector investigated and found that at this particular Arby's restaurant the workers were cramming too many chicken strips in the deep fryer and the ones in the middle were not getting thoroughly cooked. Trust me, I do not like fast food, as I said earlier, my daughter went with a friend. These are issues we need to keep in mind. And let's not forget that you can also get Salmonella from raw's time to stop letting the kids eat the raw cookie dough (I'm not talking about cookie dough ice cream). Kitchen counters need to be washed thoroughly and often to kill the bacteria from raw eggs that may have dripped on the counter, from meat, fish, etc.

I hope I haven't turned you off to getting outside and enjoying the times with your loved ones! I'm just concerned for your safety and well-being! :) Have fun while being aware of that invisible trouble that lurks around on raw meats, fish, and other foods.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

There's still time!

There's still time to get your discount when you order your subscription to Canticle magazine either for yourself or for gifts for family and friends. I'm planning to get a couple of subscriptions for friends since I am already enjoying Canticle through my own subscription. Just go to Heidi's Hotline for details and the discount code.

In case you are not familiar with Canticle; this wonderful magazine for Catholic Women, I encourage you to take a quick moment and click here at the Canticle website which is affiliated with Women of Grace.

Just a few things that Canticle Magazine offers...
*An understanding of authentic womanhood in clear language;
*An uplifting fellowship among women of faith who think, "I must be the only one...!";
*Education concerning the meaning of human sexuality and marital love;
*Positive suggestions for the restoration of a culture of life and love; and
*Joyful testimonies and profiles for women, by women, and about women.
There's really so much MORE!

Hurry because the sale ends on June 10th! Go on over to Heidi's Hotline for details and the discount code.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Beautiful reflections for June by Karen Edmisten!

For a beautiful reflection each morning by our blogger, homeschooling, Catholic mother friend, Karen Edmisten, go to My Daily Visitor. You have to register which is free and it is well worth the time to do so!

My Daily Visitor is a Catholic devotional small enough to slip into your pocket or purse, yet big enough to be an inspirational companion. For each day of the year, it contains suggested Bible readings, prayers, and brief reflections and meditations of gifted guest editors.

Charity Raffle for St. Gianna Maternity Home

Danielle Bean is having a Charity Raffle to benefit St. Gianna Maternity Home which welcomes women in a crisis pregnancy situation, provides women with a peaceful and secure sanctuary, offers women access to medical, educational, and professional services. It has a spiritual environment welcoming women of all faiths and it provides women a place for quiet reflection and redirection as they determine a plan for themselves and their baby.

Danielle is looking for donations which will be donated 100% to the St. Gianna Maternity Home. Your donation might win one of 45 "super-cool prizes" donated by various organizations, magazines, authors, crafters, website visitors, and more. Every $5 you donate to St. Gianna Maternity Home will earn you one chance in a random drawing for the prizes that are listed at Danielle's website to take place Tuesday, June 12.

All of the details are at Danielle's website, including a Pay Pal button to donate!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Launching my "Mom's Corner" on "Catholic Connection" radio show

Hello Moms!

Mark your calenders. Next Tuesday, June 12th will be the launch of my radio segment for MOMS with Teresa Tomeo on the "Catholic Connection" show on Ave Maria Radio! I will be on at 9:10 Am until 9:30 AM EASTERN time. Our topic will be "Passing on the faith to our children." We will discuss tips for prayer and how to deal with stresses of bringing our young ones to Church and more. You are invited to call into the show. Listen in LIVE here and feel welcome to give us your advice about how you pass the faith on to your kids.

Please leave me a comment about a suggested topic for a future show. I will look forward to hearing from you! :)

God bless!

What is Ordinary Time?

Fr. Mike MacInnis, OFM (my pastor) tells us, "Ordinary Time, meaning ordered or numbered time, is celebrated in two segments: from the Monday following the Baptism of Our Lord up to Ash Wednesday; and from Pentecost Monday to the First Sunday of Advent. This makes it the largest season of the Liturgical Year. Vestments are usually green, the color of hope and growth, the Church counts thirty-three or thirty-four Sundays of Ordinary Time, inviting her children to meditate upon the whole mystery of Christ - his life, miracles and teachings - in the light of his Resurrection, Sunday by Sunday, the Pilgrim Church marks her journey through tempos annun as she processes through time toward eternity."

So, as we are embarking this "Ordinary Time," let's be mindful to keep the Easter mystery alive in our "domestic churches" focusing on the mysteries of Christ which are revealed to us in the weekly Readings. Let us strive to apply the Readings to our lives within our families, praying that we will bear much fruit to further the Kingdom!

During our summer months, hopefully filled with some respite, playful fun with our families and relaxation let us live in God's graces wherever we may be, so that we will be an extraordinary example to those around us in this Ordinary Time!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Pope Benedict canonizes four new saints

From Catholic News Agency:

Rome, Jun 3, 2007 / 12:55 pm (CNA).- On Holy Trinity Sunday, thousands of pilgrims and faithful came to St. Peter's Square for the canonization of four new Saints: Giorgio Preca, Szumon z Lipnicy, Karel van Sint Andries Houben and Marie Eugenie de Jesus Milleret.

The Pope addressed the faithful by first speaking about Trinity Sunday and how the Book of Wisdom invites Christians "to consider the many faceted and unceasing manifestations of holiness present in the people of God throughout the centuries." According to Benedict, "the Wisdom of God is manifested in the cosmos, in the variety and beauty of its elements, but its masterpieces are the saints."

For entire article, click here.

Calling All Sky Watchers

"This month Venus falls from its peak altitude in the west, but it becomes half lit in telescopes and engages in marvelous sky pairings — including a spectacular one with Saturn at month's end. Jupiter, the most active and dynamic planet for telescope users, comes to opposition in early June. Mercury shines for one last week low in the west-northwestern twilight..."

For more information about seeing the planets, moon phases, and other sky highlights click here.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Eight Things Meme

I was tagged by Karen Edmisten for this Meme. "What's a Meme," you ask? Well, you'll's something that connects us blogging people and gives us something to do, as if we had nothing to do!

Here are the rules:

"For this meme, each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog."

Okay, okay, okay, I'll do this...only because KAREN asked me to, how can I say "No thank you?"

Here are my eight facts or habits:

1) I love sunflowers, daisies, well I love all flowers.
2) I love to do organic gardening. I love providing nourishing fresh veggies for my family whom at harvest time get very tired of me saying, "FRESH from the garden!" as I put the yummy veggies on the table!
3) I do not practice what I preach all of the time when it comes to taking a break...I always have so much to do that I don't get enough sleep, trying to stay up a bit longer to get it done and I am always advising others to slow down and take a break and get enough sleep.
4) Eight? Do I have to come up with eight? Okay. Facts and habits, let's see...FACT: I am a mother of double tie my own sneaker laces!
5) I sometimes will move my chair --several times I might add, when I am sitting outside (on those occasions that I take a few moments to pause and enjoy nature's beauty) to sit in the last bits of sunshine of the day.
6) Whew, only three more to go...I ALWAYS stand by the door and wave "Good Bye" EVERY TIME my husband or children leave the driveway, blowing a couple of kisses, too, followed by a prayer for their safety.
7) I LOVE dark chocolate!
8) I absolutely LOVE nature!

I tag:

Heidi's Hotline: The Silent Canticle
Blessed Among Men
Catholic Mom.Com
Life Happens
A Catholic Mom in Hawaii
Real Learning


What do you do?

It's Sunday and while I was at Mass this morning I could hear the sounds of children banging their toy trucks on the wooden pews and a couple of crying babies in the background while Fr.Tom gave his homily. The familiar site of a parent whisking their child to the back of the Church to comfort him or her or quiet them down is very typical.

Recently when I was giving a talk to a group of Moms, one of them shared her woes about bringing her children to Church. She told me that her children acted up at Church frequently and that she was embarrassed by their occasional outbursts and sometimes uncontrollable behavior. To make matters worse, the Dad stays home because he doesn't care to attend Church and the Mom is left to fend for herself with the behaviors at Mass while her children beg to stay home with Dad, because after all, "He gets to stay home" they quip.

I encouraged this Mom to bring her children to Mass and to trust that she and her children will receive lots of graces at Mass. Jesus has said, "Let the children come to me." The Mom's and children's example may bring Dad around some day. Additionally, I'd like to encourage Moms who are struggling with overly active children at Mass who may be receiving a stare from someone not particulary appreciating the ruccus, to not shrink down in embarrasment, but to muster up a smile in return for the glare and know in her heart that she is doing her best to bring her children to Jesus.

What do you do? Do you have tips for keeping your children behaving better at Church? Do you sit up front so they can see what's going on, hoping to keep their interest or do you instead fearfully sit in the back? What about the Dads who don't support the idea of Mass? Give me the scoop.

Fr. James's Homily: Trinity Sunday

The Mystery of God
A little child whispered, "God, please speak to me". A little bird began to sing, but the child did not hear the bird. So the child yelled, "God, speak to me!” Thunder rolled across the sky, but the child did not listen.

The child looked around and said, "God let me see you" A star shone brightly, but the child did not notice the star.

The child shouted, "God show me a miracle!" A baby was born.
But the child did not know it.

So the child cried out in despair, "Touch me God, and let me know you are there!" Whereupon God reached down and touched the child. But the child brushed the butterfly away and walked away. (

For the entire homily click here.