Monday, 26 August 2013
Agnus Dei - Pastoral Work of our Papal Nuncio and Irish Bishops: Twenty new seminarians to commence Priesthood stud...
Agnus Dei - Pastoral Work of our Papal Nuncio and Irish Bishops: Twenty new seminarians to commence Priesthood stud...: Twenty new seminarians to commence priesthood studies at Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth “ … have the courage to go against the tide ...
Posted by Anne at 18:08
Tuesday, 20 August 2013
April 24, 1975,
six days before the city fell to the North Vietnamese army, Father Van Thuận
was appointed coadjutor archbishop of Saigon. It led to
his subsequent arrest by the new communist regime, which sent him to a
“re-education camp” for 13 years, nine of which were in solitary confinement.
During those years in jail, he found himself in a situation of seemingly utter hopelessness.
But instead of wallowing in his misfortune, he saw it as an opportunity to come into closer communion with Christ, increasing his hope, which he was then able to pass on to others.
After his release in 1988, he was exiled in 1991, but welcomed home by Pope John Paul II, who made him an official in the Roman Curia. The Holy Father later appointed him president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, a post he held from 1998 to 2002. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2001.
Meeting with those who helped complete the diocesan phase of Cardinal Thuận’s beatification last week, Pope Francis recalled his “witness to hope,” saying his memory is still alive and that he had a “spiritual presence that continues to bring his blessing.”
Many people were edified by their encounter with Cardinal Van Thuận, the Pope added, and many recall “his gentle smile and the greatness of his soul.”
Above from and Read more: National Catholic Register - Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan
Tuesday, 13 August 2013
Monday, 12 August 2013
Societies of Apostolic Life
11. Also worthy of special mention are Societies of Apostolic Life or of common life, composed of men or women. These pursue, each in its own particular way, a specific apostolic or missionary end. In many of them an explicit commitment to the evangelical counsels is made through sacred bonds officially recognized by the Church. Even in this case, however, the specific nature of their consecration distinguishes them from Religious Institutes and Secular Institutes. The specific identity of this form of life is to be preserved and promoted; in recent centuries it has produced many fruits of holiness and of the apostolate, especially in the field of charity and in the spread of the Gospel in the Missions.
New expressions of consecrated life
12. The perennial youth of the Church continues to be evident even today. In recent years, following the Second Vatican Council, new or renewed forms of the consecrated life have arisen. In many cases, these are Institutes similar to those already existing, but inspired by new spiritual and apostolic impulses. Their vitality must be judged by the authority of the Church, which has the responsibility of examining them in order to discern the authenticity of the purpose for their foundation and to prevent the proliferation of institutions similar to one another, with the consequent risk of a harmful fragmentation into excessively small groups.
In other cases it is a question of new experiments which are seeking an identity of their own in the Church and awaiting official recognition from the Apostolic See, which alone has final judgment in these matters.These new forms of consecrated life now taking their place alongside the older ones bear witness to the constant attraction which the total gift of self to the Lord, the ideal of the apostolic community and the founding charisms continue to exert, even on the present generation. They also show how the gifts of the Holy Spirit complement one another.In this newness however the Spirit does not contradict himself. Proof of this is the fact that the new forms of consecrated life have not supplanted the earlier ones. Amid such wide variety the underlying unity has been successfully preserved, thanks to the one call to follow Jesus — chaste, poor and obedient — in the pursuit of perfect charity. This call, which is found in all the existing forms of consecrated life, must also mark those which present themselves as new.
Purpose of the Apostolic Exhortation
13. Gathering together the fruits of the Synod's labours, in this Apostolic Exhortation I wish to address the whole Church in order to offer not only to consecrated persons but also to the Bishops and the faithful the results of a stimulating exchange, guided by the Holy Spirit with his gifts of truth and love.
During these years of renewal, the consecrated life, like other ways of life in the Church, has gone through a difficult and trying period. It has been a period full of hopes, new experiments and proposals aimed at giving fresh vigour to the profession of the evangelical counsels. But it has also been a time of tension and struggle, in which well-meaning endeavours have not always met with positive results.The difficulties however must not lead to discouragement. Rather, we need to commit ourselves with fresh enthusiasm, for the Church needs the spiritual and apostolic contribution of a renewed and revitalized consecrated life. In this Post-Synodal Exhortation I wish to address religious communities and consecrated persons in the same spirit which inspired the letter sent by the Council of Jerusalem to the Christians of Antioch, and I am hopeful that it will meet with the same response: "When they read it, they rejoiced at the encouragement which it gave" (Acts 15:31). And not only this. I also hope to increase the joy of the whole People of God.
As they become better acquainted with the consecrated life, they will be able with greater awareness to thank Almighty God for this great gift.In an attitude of heartfelt openness towards the Synod Fathers, I have carefully considered the valuable contributions made during the intense work of the Assembly, at which I made a point of being present throughout. During the Synod, I also sought to offer the entire People of God a number of systematic talks on the consecrated life in the Church. In them I presented anew the teachings found in the texts of the Second Vatican Council, which was an enlightening point of reference for subsequent doctrinal developments and for the reflections of the Synod during the busy weeks of its work. I am confident that the sons and daughters of the Church, and consecrated persons in particular, will receive this Exhortation with open hearts.
At the same time, I hope that reflection will continue and lead to a deeper understanding of the great gift of the consecrated life in its three aspects of consecration, communion and mission. I also hope that consecrated men and women, in full harmony with the Church and her Magisterium, will discover in this Exhortation further encouragement to face in a spiritual and apostolic manner the new challenges of our time.
Sunday, 11 August 2013
Four members of the congregation are currently making final preparations to reside at their new home next to St Mary’s church in
The Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal today have four communities, three in the
in addition to a convent in Leeds in England.
The congregation was established 25 years ago by Fr Andrew Apostoli in the Bronx
area in New York. The community
strives to live according to the ideals of St Francis as handed on by the
Capuchins. The sisters work to evangelise and with the homeless and the poor.
In a statement to The Irish Catholic this week on the new departure for the CFR, the congregation’s Mother Superior expressed her joy at its arrival in
“We are thrilled for the opportunity for the community to come to
and we can’t wait to get there.”
The CFR sisters will attend a special Mass of welcome in
on August 15.
Friday, 9 August 2013
Apostolic religious life
9. The West has also known, down the centuries, a variety of other expressions of religious life, in which countless persons, renouncing the world, have consecrated themselves to God through the public profession of the evangelical counsels in accordance with a specific charism and in a stable form of common life,for the sake of carrying out different forms of apostolic service to the People of God. Thus there arose the different families of Canons Regular, the Mendicant Orders, the Clerics Regular and in general the Religious Congregations of men and women devoted to apostolic and missionary activity and to the many different works inspired by Christian charity.
This is a splendid and varied testimony, reflecting the multiplicity of gifts bestowed by God on founders and foundresses who, in openness to the working of the Holy Spirit, successfully interpreted the signs of the times and responded wisely to new needs. Following in their footsteps, many other people have sought by word and deed to embody the Gospel in their own lives, bringing anew to their own times the living presence of Jesus, the Consecrated One par excellence, the One sent by the Father. In every age consecrated men and women must continue to be images of Christ the Lord, fostering through prayer a profound communion of mind with him (cf. Phil 2:5-11), so that their whole lives may be penetrated by an apostolic spirit and their apostolic work with contemplation.
10. The Holy Spirit, who wondrously fashions the variety of charisms, has given rise in our time tonew expressions of consecrated life, which appear as a providential response to the new needs encountered by the Church today as she carries out her mission in the world.
One thinks in the first place of members of Secular Institutes seeking to live out their consecration to God in the world through the profession of the evangelical counsels in the midst of temporal realities; they wish in this way to be a leaven of wisdom and a witness of grace within cultural, economic and political life. Through their own specific blending of presence in the world and consecration, they seek to make present in society the newness and power of Christ's Kingdom,striving to transfigure the world from within by the power of the Beatitudes.
In this way, while they belong completely to God and are thus fully consecrated to his service, their activity in the ordinary life of the world contributes, by the power of the Spirit, to shedding the light of the Gospel on temporal realities. Secular Institutes, each in accordance with its specific nature, thus help to ensure that the Church has an effective presence in society. valuable role is also played by Clerical Secular Institutes, in which priests who belong to the diocesan clergy, even when some of them are recognized as being incardinated in the Institute, consecrate themselves to Christ through the practice of the evangelical counsels in accordance with a specific charism. They discover in the spiritual riches of the Institute to which they belong great help for living more deeply the spirituality proper to the priesthood and thus they are enabled to be a leaven of communion and apostolic generosity among their fellow clergy.
Thursday, 8 August 2013
The Order of Virgins; hermits and widows
7. It is a source of joy and hope to witness in our time a new flowering of the ancient Order of Virgins, known in Christian communities ever since apostolic times.Consecrated by the diocesan Bishop, these women acquire a particular link with the Church, which they are commited to serve while remaining in the world. Either alone or in association with others, they constitute a special eschatological image of the Heavenly Bride and of the life to come, when the Church will at last fully live her love for Christ the Bridegroom.
Men and women hermits, belonging to ancient Orders or new Institutes, or being directly dependent on the Bishop, bear witness to the passing nature of the present age by their inward and outward separation from the world. By fasting and penance, they show that man does not live by bread alone but by the word of God (cf. Mt 4:4). Such a life "in the desert" is an invitation to their contemporaries and to the ecclesial community itself never to lose sight of the supreme vocation, which is to be always with the Lord.Again being practised today is the consecration of widows,known since apostolic times (cf. 1 Tim 5:5, 9-10; 1 Cor 7:8), as well as the consecration of widowers. These women and men, through a vow of perpetual chastity as a sign of the
, consecrate their state of
life in order to devote themselves to prayer and the service of the Church. Kingdom
Institutes completely devoted to contemplation
8. Institutes completely devoted to contemplation, composed of either women or men, are for the Church a reason for pride and a source of heavenly graces. By their lives and mission, the members of these Institutes imitate Christ in his prayer on the mountain, bear witness to God's lordship over history and anticipate the glory which is to come.
In solitude and silence, by listening to the word of God, participating in divine worship, personal asceticism, prayer, mortification and the communion of fraternal love, they direct the whole of their lives and all their activities to the contemplation of God. In this way they offer the ecclesial community a singular testimony of the Church's love for her Lord, and they contribute, with hidden apostolic fruitfulness, to the growth of the People of God.hus there is good reason to hope that the different forms of contemplative life will experience continued growth in the younger Churches as an evident sign that the Gospel has taken firm root, especially in those areas of the world where other religions predominate. This will make it possible to bear witness to the vitality of the traditions of Christian asceticism and mysticism and will contribute to interreligious dialogue.