Saturday, May 31, 2008

First stop - Chicago and St. Charles for the RBTE!

My publisher, Our Sunday Visitor invited me to do a book signing of my newest book, Catholic Saints Prayer Book at a HUGE annual event called the RBTE or Religious Booksellers Trade Exhibit. I signed between 200 and 300 books in about an hour! The RBTE was held at the beautiful Pheasant Run Resort in St.Charles Illinois not far from Chicago.

I am told that over 300 Catholic and Christian Book store owners come to this event annually to look over the newest releases and decide what they would like to carry in their stores.

Many Catholic and Christian publishers had booths showing off a nice selection of their wares. It was enjoyable to get a chance to stroll through the many aisles of the convention to browse the well represented publishing houses and see many familiar faces before my scheduled book signing event.

EWTN (Eternal World Television Network) had a radio set up right there in the middle of the hub bub. So, while I was at the RBTE, I was asked to be on Al Kresta's live radio show. It was so nice to meet Al and to have a friendly chat with him on his show about my newest book and my other books, as well. I wish I had a photo to share with you of our chat. Perhaps I may be able to get the audio and share it with you in the near future. :) I'm not sure if that is possible, though. Here is a link to the show information.

Al Kresta has a regular radio show on Ave Maria Radio which is the same station that produces "Catholic Connection," the show that I am on regularly with Teresa Tomeo. Al Kresta's fascinating Bio is here.

Come back for another visit soon and I will fill you in on some more of my last few day's adventures! I have to go unpack now and tend to some overflowing hampers of laundry. For some strange reason, my washing machine shuts down when I am not home!

God bless your day!


Monday, May 26, 2008

Two trips this week!

Dear Friends,

I will be leaving for Chicago tomorrow (Tuesday) morning to go to the RBTE, Religious Booksellers Trade Exhibit to do a book signing of my newest book, Catholic Saints Prayer Book and then I will be going to Birmingham, Alabama later in the week to tape some episodes on EWTN. I'll let you know when they will be aired as soon as I know.

I most-likely will not be able to post messages for a few days. If it is possible, I will. I would appreciate prayers for safety if you would be so kind. Thank you in advance for the prayers! I will keep you all in mine.

God bless you!


Sunday, May 25, 2008

ORTV's Profile of me on Crossroad's Magazine Television

You can now view (from your computer) the profile of me regarding the Vatican congress that I attended recently in Rome for women and about my books by ORTV's Crossroad's Magazine Television show. Just click here to see it Crossroad's Magazine Television show. Then click on May 10th which is the day the show aired, the Saturday before Mother's day! I hope you enjoy the show. I am in the second segment.

God bless!


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

The Feast of Corpus Christi - The Gift of Communion II

Most of the time, we need constant reminders of the immense gifts that God continually bestows upon us. The Eucharist is an immense miracle, but sometimes we need to be reminded just how amazing this miracle really

One such reminder took place in 1263. A German priest, Peter of Prague, stopped at Bolsena while on a pilgrimage to Rome. He is described as being a pious priest, but one who found it difficult to believe in Transubstantiation. While celebrating Mass at the tomb of St. Christina, located in Bolsena, Italy, he had barely spoken the words of Consecration when blood started to seep from the consecrated Host and trickle over his hands onto the altar and the corporal.

The priest was immediately confused. At first he attempted to hide the blood, but then he interrupted the Mass and asked to be taken to the neighboring city of Orvieto, the city where Pope Urban IV was then residing.

The Pope listened to the priest's story and gave him absolution for his lack of faith. He then sent emissaries for an immediate investigation. When all the facts were ascertained, he ordered the Bishop of the diocese to bring to Orvieto the Host and the linen cloth bearing the stains of blood. With archbishops, cardinals and other Church dignitaries in attendance, the Pope met the procession and, amid great pomp, had the relics placed in the cathedral. The linen corporal bearing the spots of blood is still reverently enshrined and exhibited in the Cathedral of Orvieto, Italy.

Pope Urban IV was prompted by this miracle to commission St. Thomas Aquinas to compose the liturgical prayers in honor of the Eucharist. One year after the miracle, in August of 1264, Pope Urban IV introduced the saint's compositions, and by means of a papal bull instituted the feast of Corpus Christi.

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.

Last week we reflected upon the mystery of communion. Our Triune God is a communion of persons. We can see the image of this communion stamped into all of existence. Human nature, marriage, the family, human society and the Church are all icons of the Triune God who is a communion of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Eucharist is called Holy Communion. Jesus himself, through the Eucharist, grants to us the most powerful experience of intimacy possible within our earthly existence. As Pope Benedict explains: “And that is what is really happening in Communion, that we allow ourselves to be drawn into him, into his inner communion, and are thus led finally into a state of inner resemblance”.[i]

What intimacy! When Jesus comes to us, he comes to us as communion. God and man become one. He comes to us as the divine lover. His communion with us is more intimate than the intimate union of husband and wife or a mother with her unborn child.

We cannot even begin to fathom the depth of God’s love for us. His love is so immense that he himself is defined as love. “God is love” (1 John 4: 8, 16). The Holy Eucharist is the most visible sign of God’s love for each of us. Jesus loves us so much that he cannot leave us. “And know that I am with you always until the end of time” (Matthew 28: 20).

Let us recall then the words from the first encyclical letter written by Pope John Paul II, “Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it”.[ii]

As we consider the mystery of God’s unconditional love we are reminded that love defines the very purpose of our existence too. The purpose of our life can be summed up with only one word: love. “…since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another” (1 John 4: 11).

The human person cannot live without the experience of divine love and human love. The human person cannot live without the experience of divine intimacy and human intimacy. The human person cannot live without communion. Man becomes fully realized in communion because he is created for communion by a God who is the most perfect communion.

This is why Pope Benedict calls the Church a “Eucharistic fellowship”. This is why the Catechism says that, “No one can believe alone, just as no one can live alone… I cannot believe without being carried by the faith of others, and by my faith I help support others in the faith” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 166).

As I mentioned last week, I firmly believe that after every Eucharistic Celebration, whenever possible, there should always be some kind of fellowship activity. Moreover, sprinkled throughout the liturgical year, there should be well organized social activities that provide an opportunity for the entire parish to come together for fellowship.

How can we begin to live in our parish family the community life that we are supposed to live? First, start by forming the habit of seeing Jesus in each person. This will certainly help when you do not feel like talking to someone. Jesus is hidden in every individual. Secondly, no one should be seen as a stranger. We are all brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus. Thirdly, if you are shy, acquire a new virtue. Force yourself to be outgoing. In this way, you will be sure to make new friends. Fourthly, be universal in your charity. Do not avoid anyone. Do not form clicks. Do not stick to your own age group or your own nationality. If we really do what we are suppose to do, parish life can become a powerful experience. We can really experience the Church as a “Eucharistic fellowship”.[iii]

This is why it is liturgically incorrect to hold hands when we pray the Our Father during the Mass, the Eucharistic Celebration. It is the Eucharist that brings us together and forms us into one body, not the praying of the Our Father. We must not add things to the liturgy that are not authorized by the Holy Father. We already have a proper liturgical gesture that expresses our unity. Before we receive Holy Communion, we exchange an external sign of fraternal charity with the sign of peace. Peace, unity, and fraternal charity are all fruits of the Eucharist.

“Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf” (1 Corinthians 10: 17).

[i] God and the World, Joseph Ratzinger, p. 409
[ii] Redemptor Hominis, 10.1
[iii] God is Near Us, Joseph Ratzinger, p. 115

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Please pray for these dear parents and friends

Updated on THURSDAY

Updated on THURSDAY

NEW MILFORD -- Sorrow and shock about the violent murder of a Northeastern University student found in her off-campus apartment Tuesday morning swept from her Boston campus to her hometown Wednesday.

Rebecca Payne, a 22-year-old athletic training major and campus leader, was a 2004 New Milford High graduate and yearbook editor.

On hearing the news, NMHS social studies teacher Brock Putnam described her as "a shaft of sunlight penetrating the gloom of the darkest day."

"She was a wonderful, bright, vivacious girl -- an outstanding student," said John Lee, high school vice principal. "This is a real tragedy. Everyone who has heard has been really saddened by the news."

Her parents, Nicholas and Virginia Payne of New MIlford, released a public statement through the Boston police late Wednesday afternoon.

"We would like to remember Rebecca as someone always smiling, never worrying about things not worth worrying about," the couple said of their only child, a senior in the university's Bouvé College of Health and Sciences... (SEE NEWS TIMES STORY HERE)


A volley of gunshots left a 22-year-old college student dead in her Boston apartment early Tuesday.
A black van was seen driving away about the same time.

But as of late Wednesday, Boston police weren't sure, or weren't saying, whether the vehicle one witness saw leaving the quiet residential neighborhood where Rebecca Payne, of New Milford, had lived since August was connected to the death of the Northeastern University senior.

"We can't say whether it's related, but it's a piece of information, and every piece helps," police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said.

Payne, described by one neighbor as "a really sweet young lady," was found dead in her two-bedroom apartment shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday, hours after several other residents in the 40-unit complex remember hearing gunshots.

None, however, called 911, police said.... (Continued here)

A 22-year-old New Milford woman was found shot dead Tuesday in her Boston apartment.

Rebecca Payne, a Northeastern University student, was discovered lying on the floor in her off-campus apartment shortly before 7 a.m. A building manager called 911 after finding her apartment door slightly ajar and noticing blood inside, a law enforcement source said.

Although police had not released the woman's identity, Nicholas Payne, Rebecca's father, confirmed in an interview with The Boston Globe on Tuesday that the body was his daughter's.

He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Rebecca Payne was shot twice in the legs and once in the chest, according to police.

"A tragedy like this, suddenly and without explanation, that takes the life of one of our brightest young lights brings us unfathomable grief," said Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University, in a statement posted on the university's Web site Wednesday morning... continued here with this news story.



Please dear friends, pray for parents I know who just lost their only child - a beautiful, talented, God-loving twenty two year old daughter. We just heard that she was murdered last night in Boston near where she went to college. She was staying in an off campus dorm temporarily for a week or so to do a part time job and someone got into the dorm and shot her three times. I can't even explain the devastation here. She was my daughter's dear friend.

Thank you for your prayers for her parents and friends and for her soul.

God bless,


Sunday, May 18, 2008

New Daily Homily blog!

My friend, Fr. James who is down in Corpus Christi, Texas has started another blog. This one is a daily homily blog, appropriately titled, The Daily Homily. Check it out daily to get your day started off on the right foot!

To make it easy for you, I have added a place for his blog in my right column. Just click on his photo to get to his daily blog. :)

Fr. James's Sunday Homily: Trinity Sunday

Trinity Sunday - The Gift of Communion

One day a little boy was playing on the beach. He dug a small hole into the sand. By using a seashell, he began to fill the hole with the ocean water. It did not take too long for the boy to realize that it would be impossible for him to scoop the vast ocean into the small hole that he had dug.

My dear friends, when we consider the mystery of God, we must realize that just like the little boy could not scoop the ocean water into the little hole, in the same way, it would be impossible for us to understand something as immense as the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. As Pope Benedict once said: “God, as the Wholly Other, remains beyond our comprehension”.[i]

The mystery of the Blessed Trinity is clearly revealed to us throughout the New Testament. However, we already get a glimpse into this mystery in the first book of the Bible. “God said, let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves…” (Genesis 1: 26). Us? Ourselves? These words reveal to us the nature of God. God is one God, but three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One God, not three Gods.

“The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the hierarchy of the truths of faith” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 234).

Many years ago, an elderly Bishop visited a parish of his diocese for Confirmations. Despite the fact that he was losing his hearing, he still continued his custom of quizzing the children on their catechism before the Confirmations.

He asked a young girl to define the Blessed Trinity. The girl was rather nervous and shy, and she softly said: “The Blessed Trinity is one God with three distinct persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”. The Bishop could not hear her answer, so he said: “Speak up, I can’t understand you”. The girl turned to the Bishop and said: “You can’t understand, it is a mystery”.

We can look upon God as a communion of persons. We can see the image of God stamped into all of existence. Human nature, marriage, the family, human society and the Church are all icons of the Triune God who is a communion of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit... (Continued here)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Interview on Vatican Radio

I now have the proper link to my (audio) interview with EWTN's Rome Bureau Chief, Joan Lewis. Joan interviewed me while we were in Rome attending the international congress held during the twentieth anniversary year of the Apostolic Letter Mulieris Digntatem penned by our beloved Pope John Paul II. Two hundred and sixty women from around the world convened at the congress to study and reflect upon the document. I was honored to be one of them.

We also heard from women from five continents about the issues that women face in their areas. You can hear Joan Lewis's interview with me by clicking here and then scrolling down the list until you see my name. Then, simply click on the segment to listen. When Joan and I did our interview, it was after 3 sleepless nights for me due to traveling to Rome and then the problems I experienced with sleeping due to injuries from a car accident prior to my trip to Rome. Hopefully, I will sound at least a bit coherent!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

God bless you!!

This story was recently told to me and I want to pass it on to you because I think it's great!

"They walked in tandem, each of the ninety-two students filing into the already crowded auditorium. With their rich maroon gowns flowing and the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they felt.

Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and Moms freely brushed away tears.

This class could NOT pray during the commencements----not by choice, but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it. They had been warned.

The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for God's blessings on the graduates or their families.

The speeches were nice, but they were routine until the final speech, it received a standing ovation.

A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then it happened.

All 92 students, every single one of them, suddenly SNEEZED !!!! The student on stage simply looked at the audience and said, 'GOD BLESS YOU.'

And he walked off stage. The audience exploded into applause. This graduating class had found a unique way to invoke God's blessing on their future with or without the court's approval. This is a true story. It happened at the University
of Maryland."

I love it, don't you?!

It reminds me so much of what my former pastor did one time. There was a new high school built in our town a few years ago. The mayor and several clergy members from various denominations were invited to attend the opening ceremonies. Everyone knew that they weren't allowed to mention God or God's blessing on the school.

Well, my clever dear Fr. Mario went up to the microphone and proceeded to say something like this, "You know, kids, I sure wish I could say that I wanted God to bless this new building and bless all of you and bless your studies here at your new high school. I really really wish I could just say, "God bless this new school and God bless each and every one of you!"

Pretty clever guy, don't you think?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Crossroads Magazine's profile of me on television this week end!

I just heard from ORTV, the Office of Radio & Television of the Archdiocese of Hartford, CT and was told, that the televsion show that they profiled me on will air on Mothers' Day week end! It will recount some of my recent Vatican experience, talk about women and their mission and vocation and also about my books and vocation as a mother.

They said it will be "On Saturday May 10th. It will air on WTXX-CW20 at 10:30 am, and then again at 10:30 pm on channel WCTX My-TV 9."

I inquired of the reporter as to which channel to watch it on and she said, "Every cable company is different. Most likely it will be on channel 9, but I would check your local listing. And regarding channel 20, again that is different everywhere, where I live its channel 7. But rest assured, these channels are available on every cable company in the state. If you’ve ever seen the TV Mass, that is channel 20."

So, for everyone who can view this who lives in Connecticut, there is your information. For those of you in another location, I will link the episode to my website and blogs when it becomes available to do so.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict offers his prayers to cyclone victims

"Vatican City, May 6, 2008 / 09:57 am (CNA).- Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone has sent a telegram, in Pope Benedict’s name, to Archbishop Paul Zinghtung Grawng of Mandalay, and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Myanmar. The Holy Father assured the people of Myanmar of his prayers for peace and strength as the death toll from Cyclone Nargis continues to rise.

“Deeply saddened by news of the tragic aftermath of the recent cyclone, the Holy Father expresses his heartfelt sympathy. With prayers for the victims and their families, he invokes God's peace upon the dead and divine strength and comfort upon the homeless and all who are suffering. Confident that the international community will respond with generous and effective relief to the needs of your countrymen, His Holiness asks you to convey his solidarity and concern to the civil authorities and to all the beloved people of Myanmar.”

According to CNN, a Myanmar government radio station has reported that the death toll has exceeded 22,000 with 41,000 additional people reported missing after Cyclone Nargis hit the Southeast Asian country with wind speeds nearing 120 miles per hour on Friday night.

While the country has asked for aid, U.N. groups have not yet been able to acquire visas to enter the country. Bush stated that the U.S. Navy is prepared to offer assistance when the Myanmar government allows them into the country." (from Catholic News Agency)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A little of this and a little of that...

What? No EWTN in Alaska?

Heidi, a faithful reader of my books and visitor to my blogs wrote me a letter recently and told me that she does not get EWTN in Alaska where she lives and appreciated the fact that I posted a lot about Pope Benedict's US visit here at Daily Donna-Marie. She said they don't have high speed internet either. I hope that EWTN can make it's way up to Alaska. Perhaps the people there can petition the cable companies. EWTN gave superb coverage of our Holy Father's visit to the United States. There were a number of bloggers covering his visit too. Our Sunday Visitor had a three member team covering all of the events and I have posted about them here at Daily Donna-Marie, as well.

St. Padre Pio Exhumed and New Reviews on my new Saints' book

If you go over to my fairly new blog, Moments of Inspiration with Your Favorite Saints you will find some information about St. Padre Pio being exhumed, some amazing photos, Blessed Damien's new news, as well as some current reviews of mt saints' book, Catholic Saints Prayer Book. I hope you visit there from time to time to learn more about our great intercessors in heaven and possibly purchase an autographed copy of my newest book.

"Thirsting for the Living Water: On the Dignity and Vocation of Women"

I gave a retreat last Saturday in Stratford, Connecticut. It was titled, "Thirsting for the Living Water: On the Dignity and Vocation of Women." It was well received and was a wonderful occasion for women to go to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament throughout the day with their cares and concerns and specific points covered in the retreat. I drew from Mulieris Dignitatem, On the Dignity and Vocation of Women which I wove into my talks. Pope John Paul II's profound understanding of a woman's heart and his insights in Mulieris Dignitatem bring amazing affirmation to women when they realize their God-given gifts and dignity in the eyes of God and the Church.

Check out the appearance section on my main website, Donna Cooper O'Boyle.Com to see where I'll be in case you're in the area and would like to join us! By the way, I'll soon be revamping the whole look of my main website, hopefully very soon.

Motherly Inspiration All Over the World,

It is very heart warming to hear from so many women from all around the world who tell me in letters and emails how much they have been inspired and transformed by reading my books and hearing my talks. It is all God's good and loving grace. I am just His little instrument who prays that she can bring inspiration to women, mothers and families during the confusing times we live in where women are targeted with an onslaught of mixed messages that can be quite confusing.

At my Embracing Motherhood blog, I recently shared about Anne in Australia and how my book, Catholic Prayer Book for Mothers has impacted her life. She told me, "This book is a continual support to my motherhood and prayer life." She posted about it on her beautiful blog. She gives this book out as gifts to Moms. You'll find it all at Embracing Motherhood here and you will see her very creative and sweet touch that she adds to her gift to the Moms. :)

I hear regularly from Grainne, a woman in Ireland who likes my parenting column in the Irish Family Press and has read all of my books and shared with me how they were life-changing to her, as well. She has also given away so many of them as gifts (God bless her!) and has shared with me the transformations that she has witnessed with these women after they have read them. God is so very good!

Another very kind woman, Kim, shared with me recently how my book, The Heart of Motherhood: Finding Holiness in the Catholic Home has transformed her life! I am planning to write a study guide very soon for that book and was invited by Catholic Exchange to do online studies of my books there. So, stay tuned for more information on that. I will also be offering helpful tips soon to all of the Moms out there wanting to start a Moms group to get together and encourage one another in their faith and their vocation. Watch for information here and at Embracing Motherhood.

Don't be shy! Feel free to add your comments (no one checks your spelling or grammar!) to the comment section under each post at each blog.

Don't forget to give your smile away, especially to the people who seem tougher to smile at. Be that one to help brighten some one's day! Mother Teresa always said to "Make your life something beautiful for God!" Let's do that!

God bless your week end!

Friday, May 2, 2008

My friend, Fr. James started a blog!

The Solemnity of the Ascension

The Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ into heaven is the completion of the Paschal Mystery. He shows us that where he has gone, we are to follow. His physical presence in eternity shows us that the new heavens and the new earth will be a physical reality where "he will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness" (Revelation 21: 4).

For the past seven weeks we have been celebrating the most joyous season of the Catholic liturgical year. The Easter season has filled us with immense joy and profound hope. The Lord has truly risen.

Today, we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord into heaven. The risen and glorified Jesus physically returns to the Father. We await with joyful expectation his return in glory. Where he has gone, we are to follow. This is our ultimate goal: get to heaven.

What is Heaven? Heaven has been defined for us in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. “Those who die in God's grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they see him as he is, face to face. This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity - this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed - is called heaven. Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness” (1023 – 1024)... (Continued here at Fr. James's blog.)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Pope's visit to France confirmed

Paris, Apr 29, 2008 / 12:37 pm (CNA).- The Bishops’ Conference of France has officially announced that Pope Benedict XVI will travel to France for the 150th anniversary of the Marian apparitions that took place in Lourdes.

The trip, which is scheduled for September 12-15, 2008, will begin with a greeting by French officials after which the Holy Father will head to the College des Bernardins where he will address the “world of culture.” Then the Pope will pray vespers at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Following the prayer service, he will address young people gathered at the Cathedral.

On Saturday, September 13, the Pope will celebrate Mass in Paris and afterwards travel to Lourdes. “During his visit to Paris, Benedict XVI desires to meet with representatives of other Christian confessions and of the Jewish and Muslim communities,” the French bishops’ said in their statement.

“In Lourdes on Saturday afternoon, the Pope will carry out the first stages of the jubilee way. That night, at the end of the candlelight procession, he will address the pilgrims,” the bishops said.... (Continued here.)

Ascension Thursday

Brothers and sisters:
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might,
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the church,
which is his body,
the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

(today's 2nd reading for Mass of the Ascension of the Lord, Eph 1:17-23)

Pope Benedict reflects on his US visit

Vatican City, Apr 30, 2008 / 10:06 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict dedicated his reflections today to his recent apostolic journey to the United States. In his comments he praised the U.S. for its multicultural plurality and its foundation on the "happy marriage" of religious principles, ethical and political rights. This kind of interchange, the Pope said, is an example of healthy secularism.

Recalling each stage of his journey, the Holy Father expressed gratitude for being able to announce the gospel of hope, as well as his appreciation for all those who welcomed him and for those who supported him in prayer during the journey.

After noting how the motive for his U.S. visit was the bi-centenary of the elevation of the country's first diocese--Baltimore--to the status of metropolitan archdiocese, and the foundation of the sees of New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Louisville, the Holy Father affirmed that his aim had been "to announce to everyone the message that 'Christ is our Hope', the phrase which was the theme of my visit".

During his meeting with President Bush at the White House, Pope Benedict said he had an opportunity to... (Continued here.)