Monday, September 30, 2013

New head of Catholic university promises to promote ‘inclusion’ for homosexuals

by Kirsten Andersen

ST. PAUL, Minn., September 27, 2013 ( – The newly-installed president of the Roman Catholic-affiliated University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, is a historical first in more than one way – not only is she the first woman to be selected as the university’s head, she is also the first layperson.

With the inauguration of Julie Sullivan, St. Thomas has broken a more than 100-year tradition of entrusting only priests to lead the school.  Sullivan called her installation “a sign of the times,” and wasted no time in demonstrating her commitment to radical change for the 10,000-student institution.

Sullivan made headlines this week thanks to her opening speech, in which she promised to promote “inclusion” for open homosexuals and seemed to endorse same-sex “marriage,” which was recently  made legal in Minnesota despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church.

“It pains me to think that a gay student, staff or faculty member would ever feel unwelcome or a need to ‘hide’ at St. Thomas,” said Sullivan.  “As Pope Francis reminds us, we are not called to judge.  We are called to love and support everyone in our community regardless of their sexual orientation. And, I might add, regardless of the gender of their spouse.”

Homosexual activists applauded Sullivan’s remarks.  Danielle Tschida, a St. Thomas junior who heads campus gay advocacy group UST Allies, told the Pioneer Press that her first thought upon hearing about Sullivan’s speech was “Great, we have another ally.”

But Matthew Archbold of the Cardinal Newman Society, a Catholic education watchdog group, said Sullivan’s comments lacked precision and could lead students astray.

“The Church clearly calls for loving and respecting all,” Archbold wrote on the group’s blog, “but without any mention from Sullivan of the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and marriage, her approach could lead students to think that their Catholicism calls them to accept homosexual behavior as non-sinful.”

Newman Society president Patrick Reilly agreed.  “This issue is particularly difficult for Catholics because we have such a strong position on the grave sinfulness of homosexual acts,” he said.  “On the other hand, we must be loving and welcoming to everybody.”

“In every statement we make,” Reilly added, “both sentiments need to come through.”

It remains to be seen whether Sullivan’s controversial statements were simply poor communication or a sign of things to come.  But she has said her proudest achievement in her previous role as provost of the University of San Diego, another Catholic institution, was securing the school’s position as one of the first Ashoka-affiliated “Changemaker” schools, and that she would like to see St. Thomas join the list.

In a speech at USD last year celebrating the university’s selection for the Changemaker program, Sullivan drew on quotes from Ashoka founder Bill Drayton and Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, both longtime liberal activists, as she told students and faculty that empathy and respect for diverse viewpoints are far more important than distinctions between right and wrong,  

“A changemaker is comfortable with ambiguity,” said Sullivan, explaining what would be expected from future USD graduates. “He or she resists easy bi-polar distinctions and understands that we live in a world of many shades of gray.”

Ashoka, which funds the Changemaker program, is a global NGO with ties to George Soros that finances “change agents” around the world, many of whom work to expand access to contraception and abortion or promote cultural acceptance of homosexual behavior.

The organization recently branched out into education with its Changemaker program, which selects schools based on their commitment to promoting “systematic social change” through their curriculum and school-sponsored activities.  In addition to the University of San Diego, the organization has similarly honored Washington D.C.’s notoriously liberal Georgetown Day School, citing its “Gay Pride Week” as an “empathy innovation” that helped it make the cut.  The group also features a “Changemaker of the Week” on its website, with this week’s selection being Queer Nebraska Youth Network founder Drew Heckman.

One Defect At A Time

Attack, first, that vice or defect which may be a
stumbling-block, or a just cause of offense,
to thy neighbor; afterwards, the one
which seems to be thy chief fault.

Photo of Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue

The voice of Jesus. 

My Child, to obtain perfect purity of heart, it is not enough to cherish a good will, to meditate and pray frequently, to confess often and devoutly. These means are very efficient and necessary, and therefore never to be omitted, nor neglected. But, alone, they do not suffice; since they are not wont to pluck up completely the roots of vices and defects.

It is necessary then, to use besides, another means, …full article. (an 8 minute read…enjoy!)
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be our hearts’ desire!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Socialist nun: Legalize abortion, abolish the military, and let the government run the internet

by Hilary White

BARCELONA, September 27, 2013 ( – The BBC calls her the “radical leader” of a movement that will “shake up the politics of Spain and challenge the world’s economic order.” A Catalan Benedictine nun, Teresa Forcades, is making headlines in Europe as the leader of a popular leftist political movement in Spain that is calling for the abolition of capitalism, the complete government take-over of all public social services and media, and the abolition of immigration restrictions and the armed forces.

“I’m completely against capitalism,” she said in a BBC radio interview, because it opposes “the notion of freedom." Forcades, an avowed radical feminist, is a major voice of the Left in Spain and around Europe has become a focus of leftist rallying. She has said that her greatest philosophical influence was the Argentinian-Mexican philosopher Enrique Dussell, who she describes as having had “a personal experience that led him to delve into what are the theories of Marx and read Marx from the Gospels."

The BBC’s Matt Wells called her an “intense” “political leader” who dresses “always in her nun’s headpiece." Wells noted that Forcades has become “a star” of television talk shows throughout Spain, in which she presents a “new liberation theology.”

She is a nun of the Benedictine monastery of Sant Benet de Montserrat, near Barcelona. Wells notes that Forcades fellow nuns at the monastery commented that they are sure she will be the leader of a revolution in the Catholic Church as well, ushering in “a newer, more feminist future for the Catholic Church."

When the BBC World Service was interviewing Forcades, she was in the process of promoting her socialist “revolution” in Spain, travelling around Catalonia “signing up voters to a leftist agenda” called Proces Constituent. The manifesto promises the nationalisation of all banks and a ten-point manifesto that includes “a bloodless economic revolution."

The demands of Proces Constituent include “green” economic policies, “an end to xenophobia” and the repeal of all restrictions on immigration, and the government take-over of all public media, including the internet and all “public services." The movement also wants Catalan independence from Spain and the abolition of armed forces.

She has claimed that she is in agreement with the right of the unborn child to life, but Forcades has clashed in the past with the Vatican over her public statements supporting legalised abortion in which she called it part of the woman’s “absolute right to self-determination."

In a video interview with the leftist Guardian newspaper, Forcades said, “The Roman Catholic Church is misogynist and patriarchal in its structure. So that needs to be changed.” She added that there is “nothing biblically or theologically against having women priests, women bishops or a woman as pope."

In 2009, in response to a television interview in which she supported Spain’s legalisation of abortion, Cardinal Franc Rodé, head of the Vatican’s office that oversees monasteries, sent a letter to Forcades superior asking that she make a public statement of agreement with Catholic doctrine of the supremacy of the right of the unborn to life.

Forcades responded with a public letter on a leftist political website on which she is the director, saying she “respects” Catholic teaching but has a “right” to oppose it.

On abortion, she gave a self-contradictory position, saying, “This right,” she said, “is as substantial and absolute as the right to life,” and “Nobody, neither the State nor the Church, has the right to violate it under any circumstances.”

She equated abortion with “the right to self-determination” which she called a “fundamental right that protects human dignity and prohibits absolutely and under any circumstances that a person be used as an object, as a means to achieve good, even when that good is saving the life of another person or even all of humanity.”

“Nor does anyone, not the State or the Church or the mother, have the right to violate the right to life of the fetus. Under no circumstances. The right to abortion does not exist. What exists is a collision, a conflict of two fundamental rights: the right to self-determination of the mother on the one hand and the right to life of the child on the other.”

She went on to say that this “conflict of rights” does not apply to the will of God, “but only in the sense of whether it is a precedence that might be imposed from the outside,” meaning the imposition of a law protecting unborn children from abortion.

She went on to compare abortion restrictions with a hypothetical law requiring citizens to donate kidneys for transplant. “Why not pass a law requiring people whose kidneys are compatible to donate them to those patients to save their lives?”

“The state could pass such a law and the Roman Catholic Church could excommunicate potential donors who refuse to undergo the surgical removal of the kidney,” she said.

She continued, “If there is a moral principle that legitimizes this refusal, why not apply this principle in the case of pregnant women, especially if the mother's life is in danger or if the pregnancy was the result of rape?”

On her responsibility as a Catholic nun and theologian to hold and profess the teaching of the Church on the inadmissibility of abortion, she said the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, “is to be respected by all baptized Roman Catholics.” But she added, “No Roman Catholic – whether a theologian or not – should be afraid to publicly express reasonable doubt about a point of doctrine.”

She ended her letter by saying, “My faith brings me to express my allegiance to the current Magisterium.”

On homosexuality, Forcades has indicated her support for “queer theory,” the academic ideology that drives the homosexualist political movement. In an interview on the same website, Vilaweb, Forcades spoke of the “grace of queer theory” that she said opposes putting homosexuals “in a box” or “discriminating against them as certain fundamentalists do."

Instead, she said, “We invite them to teach us something essential about who we are. Because, in fact, it’s not appropriate to put any of us in a prefabricated box. And, as such, it helps us to think about ourselves in more open categories.”

In the same interview, although she denounced the pressure put on older people to commit suicide in countries like the Netherlands – that she said was a product of “unjust economic systems” – she supported legalized assisted suicide, saying, “If after announcing all the benefits of life there are people who say: ‘Yes, but I want to commit suicide,’ obviously this possibility is, ultimately the decision of the person. This is clear.”

Prince of the Heavenly Host; Powerful Shield Against Diabolical Action

Saint Michael

Saint Michael the Archangel

September 29 is the feast of the glorious Saint Michael the Archangel. The Apocalypse thus describes his victorious combativeness in defense of almighty God: “There was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven.”[1]
And Prophet Daniel refers to Saint Michael thus: “At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who stands for the children of thy people” [that is, the faithful Catholic people, heir to the people of Israel in the New Testament] and a time shall come such as never was from the time that nations began even until that time.”[2]

While Saint Michael is commonly referred to as the Archangel, such classification can be generic and not necessarily mean that he belongs to the eighth choir of Angels (Archangels). In this regard, there is an interesting quote from the great Jesuit exegete, Fr. Cornelius a Lapide, born in 1567 in Bocholt, in the Belgian province of Limburg, and deceased in Rome on March 11, 1637.

The extensive work of this distinguished author, who commented on all the books of the Old and New Testaments, is universally admired even today. Special mention should be made of his vast erudition, scrupulous diligence and the bright wit with which he deals with Sacred Scripture. Although new issues have arisen about one point or another of the biblical text, it is undeniable that his magnificent commentaries and scholarly citations still command authority. He writes:

Many believe that Michael, for the dignity of his nature, grace and glory is absolutely the first and the Prince of all the angels. And this is proved, first, by the Apocalypse (12:7), which states that Michael fought against Lucifer and his angels, resisting his pride with a cry full of humility:

“Who (is) like God?” Therefore, just as Lucifer is the prince of demons, Michael is the prince of angels, the first among the Seraphim. Second, because the Church calls him Prince of the Heavenly Hosts that are posted at the entrance of Paradise. And it is in his name that the feast of all angels is celebrated.

Third, because Michael is venerated today as the protector of the Church just as he once was of the Synagogue. Finally, in the fourth place, one proves that Saint Michael is the Prince of all angels and therefore the first among the Seraphim because in his homily, De Angelis, Saint Basil says: “To thee, O Michael, general of the heavenly spirits, placed by thy honor and dignity ahead of all other heavenly spirits, I beseech…”[3]

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Catholic hospital now an abortion mill

From the Irish Independent:
One of the country's largest Catholic-owned hospitals will carry out abortions under new laws, it has confirmed.
The Mater Hospital in Dublin's north inner city is one of 25 named in controversial legislation where a pregnancy can be terminated if the woman's life is in danger.
In a statement today, hospital chiefs said they had carefully considered the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act and would abide by the law.

Read more:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Catholic bishop nixes hospital merger deal over abortion, sterilization, and contraception

by Kirsten Andersen

CLEVELAND, September 27, 2013 ( – The Akron Beacon Journal reported late Thursday that Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland has put the brakes on a proposed merger between a Catholic health care system and a secular hospital chain, after the latter said it would not stop performing abortions and sterilizations and would continue to dispense contraceptives.

The proposed $250 million-dollar merger between Catholic Health Partners and Summa Health System would have given CHP a 30 percent stake in Summa, seats on its Board of Directors, and a number of management positions within the company.

Bishop Richard Lennon

Bishop Richard Lennon

But the contract explicitly stated that Summa and its employees would not be bound by the Catholic Church’s Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs), the rule book for Catholic health care providers that prohibits, among other things, “immediate material cooperation in actions that are intrinsically immoral, such as abortions, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and direct sterilization.”

Because CHP is affiliated with the Catholic Church, it had to submit the plan to the Bishop Lennon for approval, which was denied.

“In light of the consistent message issued by officials of SHS [Summa Health System] regarding delivery of services, many people have contacted me regarding their concerns that such a relationship between SHS and CHP gives the message that CHP is supporting healthcare issues contrary to Catholic teachings,” Lennon wrote in a letter to CHP vetoing the merger.

“I am troubled by a Catholic entity knowingly entering into a transaction where the ERDs are set aside,” the bishop added, according to the Beacon Journal.

CHP has now withdrawn from the deal, but it will soon be reconfigured so that HealthSpan Partners, a subsidiary of CHP that does not have official ties to the Church will merge with Summa instead.

“We appreciate Bishop Lennon’s careful consideration regarding our partnership with Summa Health System,” CHP spokeswoman Liz Vogel told local media. “As a Catholic health care organization, we understand and respect his point of view, which has led us to restructure the transaction.”

Vogel asserted that because HealthSpan Partners is “an auxiliary organization, which is a secular, tax-exempt entity that invests in innovative health-care ventures,” approval from the bishop will no longer be required.

Summa spokesman Mike Bernstein said in a statement that “We are pleased to begin working with HealthSpan Partners, which is Catholic Health Partners’ auxiliary organization that will now invest $250 million to become a 30 percent owner of Summa Health System.”

“We are excited about the outcome of our two-year process to seek a like-minded, not-for-profit partner to enhance our ability to meet the health-care needs of Northeast Ohio,” Bernstein added.

A call by to the Cleveland Diocese seeking comment was not immediately returned.

The Most Excellent Of All Prayers

Please!  Our Lady’s Cause In America Needs You!
Red Rose
(Serve Our Lady in this campaign, and we’ll deliver a red rose to Fatima for you.)

“Public prayer is far more powerful than private prayer to appease the anger of God and call down His Mercy, and Holy Mother Church, guided by the Holy Ghost, has always advocated public prayer in times of public tragedy and suffering.” ~ ~ St. Louis de Montfort

Will you please pray a Rosary for Our Lady’s cause and for America?

In public?
You and your loved ones will get so many graces for yourselves and for America!

On first thought, the devil may present the idea in your mind as intimidating, but it’s really so easy and such a good spiritual exercise in overcoming our human respect and becoming a stronger devotee of Mary and the Holy Catholic Church.

Just ask family and friends to join you to pray a rosary in a public place on Saturday, October 12, at 12 noon - - exactly 96 years to the day of The Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, Portugal.

BENEFITS of being a Rosary Rally Captain

“It was such a grace to be able to participate in the rally in our small town and we were all blessed. Thank you for providing the opportunity to take part in this movement of the Holy Spirit.”

“It was an amazing experience . . . thank you for the honor of being a Rally Captain. It was a pleasure. The program went so well . . . and the day was just beautiful. Even the wind felt heavenly.”

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a Captain. The rally was really wonderful and was held in the Stone Mountain Park in Georgia and the area we chose was very busy.”

“It was indeed a truly spirit-filled afternoon and brought out Holy Boldness in us. A one-of-a-kind experience we would not have experienced without your inspiration. The event makes us want to repeat this yearly or even quarterly whenever it be in Our Lord’s Plan.”

“Our Public Square Rosary was a call to live Our Lady’s Fatima message and spread it across America. I feel Her Immaculate Heart was gladdened!”

“The Public Square Rosary Rally in Wareham, Mass., was in a very public area: the Town Hall’s Common. I had twelve participants counting myself. It was great opportunity to pray for the conversion of sinners in public. I think the Blessed Mother was very happy.”

“Last year our corner had only four people praying the Rosary; this year, close to 25! Our poor country is in deep trouble and our only hope is going to come from heaven.”

“There were only four of us, but I am glad that I was able to participate as a Captain, and would gladly do so again!”
Many Bishops Wrote In Too – click here.

The Rosary saved Austria from Communism in 1955.
Our Public Square Rosary Rallies can convince Our Lady to do the same for America.

Austria’s public rosary walks convinced Our Lady to intercede for them in the years following The Second World War.
God’s wish is to establish devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as THE solution for the sins and impurity of this world.
Our Public Square Rosary Rallies are the “divine solution” for our nation’s deepening problems (click here for more).

I’m inviting you to answer God’s call and be a vital part of the divine solution as a Rally Captain this October 12th, 2013.
Austria in 1955 is an example of how easily the “divine solution” can happen.

Click here for the full story of the Rosary miracle in Austria.

And you’ll see how easily we can achieve something just as wonderful for our own country – for America through our Public Square Rosary Rally Crusade.

Will you please help God’s wish to become a growing reality by becoming a Rally Captain?

It’s so easy to do. Just take your Rosary, the free banner we send you, and then stand in a public spot on October 12th with family and friends and pray the Rosary. That’s it!

Please pray on your decision.
When you decide to become one of Our Lady’s Rally Captains – and I pray you do – you’ll be taken to a sign up page and become part of the “divine solution.”

And I want you to know that one red rose for you will be displayed at Fatima this coming October 2013. (See the roses we delivered for 2012’s Rosary Rally Captains.) This is another way to show Our Lady and the world how our Public Square Rosary Rallies are growing each year along with devotion to her.

Please Reply TODAY; you know how easy it is to lose track of emails over time.

Prayer -- Penance -- Amendment

Together you and I can repeat history . . . for America this time . . . and help accelerate “the triumph of My Immaculate Heart!” Please click here NOW to join and pray for America to Our Blessed Mother.

On the website you’ll find more details and how we’ll help you have a successful, easy, and fulfilling Rosary Rally on October 13, 2012. And remember, as a Rally Captain we’ll take a red rose to Fatima on your behalf this October.

Our Lady of Fatima asked for prayer, penance, and sacrifice for the conversion of sinners (ourselves included!). The Rosary is the prayer. Standing in a public place is the penance. She’s waiting for you to be her Rally Captain.

Italy’s pasta king apologizes after saying he would ‘never’ depict homosexuals in TV commercials

by Hilary White

ROME, September 27, 2013 ( – The head of one of Italy’s largest pasta companies has issued an apology to homosexual activists after being blasted in the national and international media for saying his company’s ads would “never” depict same-sex families in a TV commercial.

Guido Barilla, head of the family firm that sells packaged pasta to the world, said on Wednesday on a radio talk show, “We will not ever have a [TV] spot with a gay family. Ours is a traditional family.”

The company’s Italian television spots have always featured warm scenes of traditional Italian families gathered for meals.

The radio program was on the role of women in the family but the discussion branched out. Barilla continued, “If gays like our pasta and what we have said, they will eat it. If they don’t like what we say, eat another.”

He added that his remarks were not meant as “a lack of respect for homosexuals, who have the right to do whatever they want in respect of others. But I don’t think like they do.”

“The family to which we address ourselves is the traditional one, where the woman plays a fundamental role. It is the structural center of the life,” he said.

Within hours of the broadcast, homosexual activists had launched a campaign to boycott the pasta brand.

Alessandro Zan, a homosexualist activist Deputy with the left-wing SEL (Sinistra Ecologia Libertà) Party, called the comments, “another example of Italian homophobia,” and urged fellow Deputies to join the boycott.

PdL Deputy Eugenia Roccella countered that Barilla is “a brave man,” saying that it “takes courage to defend the family consisting of a man and a woman and maybe even ‘founded on marriage,’ as it is written in our Constitution.”

However, Barilla has since bowed to pressure, and on Thursday his company issued a media release saying, “I apologize if my words generated misunderstandings or arguments, or if they offended the sensibilities of some people.”
“In the interview I simply wished to underline the central role the woman plays within the family,” he said.

On the same day he wrote on Facebook, “To be clear, I just want to specify that I do have great respect for every person, without any kind of distinction. I do respect gay people and everybody's freedom of expression. I also said I do respect gay marriage.”

Roccella denounced the “obsessive attacks” by homosexual groups that have drummed up much media coverage, while the government continues to consider the “anti-homophobia” bill that critics say aims at quashing public opposition to planned “gay marriage” laws.

Roccella said that calls by “gay militants” for a boycott of Barilla pasta “shows how well-founded are fears for freedom of expression expressed during the parliamentary debate on homophobia.”

Student vandalize Church and write: "The only church that enlightens is the one that BURNS."

Yesterday, students of the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires (the oldest high school in the city, originally founded as a Jesuit school, but that become a public school following the expulsion of the Jesuits in the 18th century) entered the nearby parish church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the oldest standing religious building in the Argentine Capital.

According to Clarín, they "burned the armchair on which the priest sits during mass, one of the 18th-century carved wood altars, they urinated on the altar, and they wrote insulting sentences with white paint on the floor and on the pews."

In the image above, the most revealing words: "The only church that enlightens is the one that BURNS."  Read more and see photo:

Catholic church in Kenya attacked; Al Shabaab suspected

CWN - A Catholic church in northern Kenya was attacked with grenades on September 25, in what is believed to be another action by the Somalian terrorist group Al Shabaab.

Assailants threw two grenades at the church in Wajir, then shot at police before making their escape, the Vatican newspaperL’Osservatore Romano reports. Gunmen opened fire on police in another town nearby, killing two officers and wounding three others.  Read more:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fruitless Rosaries - - Distracted Rosaries?

Continual Distractions During The Rosary

A Rosary Meditation Booklet according to the method of
St. Louis de Montfort

Rosary Meditation Booklet
Pray Your Rosary Like St. Louis de Montfort!
Order Your Complimentary Rosary Meditation Booklet

Do you suffer with continual distractions during your rosaries despite your best efforts to be free of them? Does it frustrate you? Exasperate you?

It’s a common problem for us Catholics. But there is a solution.
Robert, over a year ago, I started praying our family rosary using the Rosary Meditation Booklet.

I diligently focused each night on the beautiful and inspiring paintings of Dias Tavares for each mystery. And the brief snippets of St. Louis de Montfort’s thought-provoking words for each bead are a huge help.

The Rosary Meditation Booklet
IMMEDIATELY made me pray the Rosary much better.

This free booklet will help you too.

In his book The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort affirms that “To be guilty of willful distractions during prayer would show a great lack of respect and reverence; it would make our Rosaries fruitless and would make us guilty of sin.”

Now, I know you’re not guilty of “willful distractions,” but doesn’t it make sense that we should do everything we can not to lose the potentially great merit of the rosaries we pray?

Pray better rosaries.

Order Your Complimentary Rosary Meditation Booklet NOW

Rosary Meditation Booklet

And St. Louis goes even further: “How can we expect God to listen to us if we ourselves do not pay attention to what we are saying? How can we expect Him to be pleased if, while in the presence of His tremendous majesty, we give in to distraction just as children run after butterflies? People who do this forfeit Almighty God’s blessings which are then changed into curses because they have been praying disrespectfully.”

And that’s the sentiment of one of the greatest Marian saints and apostles of the Rosary…
…when I read that I knew I had to do something…God would certainly hold me culpable for the words of St. Louis that He had put in front of me.

I think the same may be true for all of us.

Solve any problem you might have of distractions during the Rosary here. Otherwise we run a terrible risk…again, in The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis says: “…put yourself in the presence of God and imagine that Almighty God and His Blessed Mother are watching you and that your Guardian Angel is standing at your right hand, taking your Hail Marys, if they are well said, and using them like roses to make crowns for Jesus and Mary.”

“But remember, that at your left hand lurks the devil, ready to pounce upon every Hail Mary that comes his way and to write it down in his deadly notebook. And be sure that he will snatch every single one of your Hail Marys that you have not said attentively, devoutly, and with reverence.”

At last, experience
the exhilarating feeling of
a rosary well prayed.

Order Your Complimentary Rosary Meditation Booklet NOW
Rosary Meditation Booklet

May Our Lady of the Rosary help us all to an ever increasing devotion to her Immaculate Heart!

Bishop Vasa: Where are the preachers ‘obsessed’ with abortion, homosexual ‘marriage’ and contraception?

by Patrick B. Craine

SANTA ROSA, CA, Sept. 25, 2013 ( - Following Pope Francis’ call for the Church to find a “new balance” and reduce what he suggested was undue emphasis on controversial moral issues, one of the American episcopate’s great defenders of life and family affirmed the Pope’s desire to proclaim the basic Gospel message but insisted that the Church must remain vocal in promoting the truth on the most pressing issues of the day.

The media has widely reported that the Pope, in an interview published Thursday by Rome’s La Civilta Catholica and Jesuit magazines around the world, said the Church must not be “obsessed” by issues like abortion, homosexuality, and contraception. But Bishop Robert Vasa of Santa Clara, Calif. says he has not seen evidence of such an obsession.

Bishop Robert Vasa

“I certainly do know that there are individuals, and I certainly would probably be among them, who firmly believe that these are core cultural issues about which we must be vocal,” the prelate told the Press Democrat on Friday. “But I'm not obsessed about them. A vast majority of the things that I write do not include abortion as a topic or contraception or divorce and remarriage.”

“Is there a need for teaching about those things? Absolutely. Are there some folks who overstep the boundary and say, 'OK we're preaching about this every single Sunday?' Well, there may be. But there's a vast majority of people who never talk about it,” he continued.

“[If] everyone talked about it a little, there would be fewer who feel the need to talk about it more,” he added.

In the Pope’s interview, which ran to 12,000 words, he spoke only briefly about the moral issues.

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods,” he said.

“This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that,” he added. “But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

The off-the-cuff remarks were interpreted by much of the mainstream press as a call by the Pope for the Church to downplay, or even abandon, its teachings on difficult moral issues.

But that narrative was interrupted on Friday when the pope issued his strongest remarks to date against abortion, condemning the practice as a manifestation of a “throwaway culture.”

Bishop Vasa’s assessment is along the same lines as that made by Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura and America’s most senior prelate, in an interview this summer months before the Pope’s interview was published.

The Cardinal told Minneapolis’ The Catholic Servant that the Church has not been nearly outspoken enough on controversial issues like homosexuality. He said there’s been “a failure of catechesis both of children and young people that has been going on for fifty years.”

“It is being addressed, but it needs much more radical attention,” he continued. “There is far too much silence — people do not want to talk about it because the topic is not ‘politically correct.’ But we cannot be silent any longer or we will find ourselves in a situation that will be very difficult to reverse.”

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Catholic Providence College withdraws speaking invitation for same-sex ‘marriage’ advocate

by Kirsten Andersen

PROVIDENCE, R.I., September 24, 2013 ( – Providence College, a Roman Catholic school in Rhode Island, has canceled a discussion panel on same-sex “marriage” after deciding its own professors were unprepared to debate the openly homosexual advocate for same-sex “marriage” the school had originally invited to speak.

John Corvino, a gay activist who chairs the philosophy department at Wayne State University in Detroit, had initially been scheduled to give a talk on same-sex “marriage” sponsored by several departments at the college, in violation of school policy requiring both sides of any controversial issue to be presented “fairly and equally.” 

When the school expressed concern that Corvino’s views would be presented without challenge, Corvino – who has participated in debates at a number of Catholic colleges – readily agreed to a format change giving one of the college’s professors an opportunity to offer a rebuttal and clarification of Catholic teachings on marriage following his remarks.  But Corvino was disinvited Saturday after the college decided its chosen representative, theology professor Dana Dillon, lacked sufficient time to prepare.

In an e-mail announcing the cancellation, college provost Hugh Lena seemed to imply that inviting Corvino to speak in the first place had been a mistake.

Citing a document issued by the U.S. bishops, Lena wrote, “While academic freedom is at the heart of teaching in a Catholic university, the United States bishops maintain that in accord with Ex corde ecclesiae: ‘the Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions’ (Catholics in Political Life, USCCB, 2004).”

Lena also said the philosophy professor who organized the event had not followed school policy in doing so.  “College policy … dictates that both sides of a controversial issue are to be presented fairly and equally when discussed in a forum such as this.  That was not the case with this proposed event,” wrote Lena.

Click "like" if you support TRADITIONAL marriage.

“The notice sent out yesterday mentioned that there would be a response to Dr. Corvino by Dr. Dana Dillon of the Providence College Theology Department.  However, it has come to my attention that Dr. Dillon was asked just yesterday afternoon to provide that response.  While I applaud Dr. Dillon for her willingness to present on such a complex and controversial topic, it is simply not fair to her to give her less than one week of preparation opposite someone who has been lecturing on this issue across the United States for years.”

Corvino responded to the cancellation on his blog Monday, saying that while it would have been better if the event had been scheduled as a debate from the start, a week should have been more than enough time for a professional Catholic philosopher or theologian to prepare a coherent response to his remarks.

“As a fellow scholar I am offended on Dr. Dillon’s behalf,” Corvino wrote. “If she felt unprepared to respond, she could easily have declined. For her provost to declare her unprepared, however, is an affront to scholarly autonomy and academic freedom.”

“It also does not speak well of Provost Lena’s confidence in his philosophy and theology departments that he believes that no one there can persuasively articulate the Catholic position on marriage with a week’s notice,” Corvino added.

“The provost seems to want to have it both ways,” wrote Corvino, “the appearance of a commitment to vigorous academic dialogue, combined with an isolationist approach to disfavored views.”

But Dr. Edward Peters, a canon lawyer and professor at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, said that when it comes to the definition of marriage, there is nothing for Catholics to debate.

“What exactly was to be debated at the Providence ‘gay marriage’ debate in the first place?” Peters wrote Tuesday.  “Considering her age (+2,000 years), her membership (+1,000,000,000), and her range of concerns (eternal salvation and human civilization), the Catholic Church has a remarkably short list of non-negotiable assertions.”

“[A]mong the assertions made by the Church with infallible certainty,” wrote Peters, “is this one: God made marriage to exist between one man and one woman. Catholics could debate, say, whether this assertion is a dogma to be believed or a doctrine to be held, or whether the assertion is knowable by reason alone or requires the gift of faith. Catholics could even debate whether civil unions of one sort or another between two persons of the same sex are good for society or bad. But Catholics cannot, I suggest, argue whether true marriage exists only between one man and one woman.”

“To debate whether marriage can exist between two persons of the same sex,” Peters added, “is to imply that some Catholic non-negotiables can be negotiated by Catholics.”

Peters said that the reasons the college gave for the cancellation – the U.S. Bishops’ statement and the lack of time for preparation – both miss the mark.

Wrote Peters, “Neither of those considerations gets at the heart of the matter: Catholics cannot hold marriage to be other than the union of one man and one woman.”

St. Adamnan of Ireland, Abbot – He ensured the immunity of non-combatants in warfare

St Adamnan

St Adamnan

He was the eighth in descent from the great Nial, king of Ireland, and from Conal the Great, ancestor of St. Columbkille. His parents were eminent for their rank and virtue. He was born in the year 626, at Rathboth, (1) now called Raphoe, in the county of Donegal, and embraced a monastic life with great humility and fervour, in the monastery which had been founded there by his kinsman St. Columb. Afterwards following the steps of his holy kinsman, he left Ireland, and retired to the celebrated monastery of Hij, of which he became fifth abbot.

Subscription7In 701 he was employed by Longsech, king of Ireland, on an embassy to Alfred, king of the Northern Saxons, to demand of the latter a reparation of the injuries committed by his subjects on the province of Meath, and carrying off the effects of the inhabitants before the troops of the Irish could arrive to chastise those invaders. Adamnan succeeded happily in this negotiation: he was favourably received by the Saxon monarch, and obtained full satisfaction for all the damages done to his countrymen in the foregoing year. While he continued in England he laid aside the custom of his predecessors, and conformed to the true time of celebrating Easter. Upon his return home, says Bede, (2) he used his utmost endeavours to guide his monks of Hij, and all those who were subject to that monastery, into the road of truth, which he himself walked in, but was not able to prevail. He therefore sailed into Ireland, his native country, and there preached to the natives, and with modest exhortations explained to them the true time for observing Easter: by which means he brought almost the whole island to a conformity with the universal church in that point of discipline. Having remained in Ireland to celebrate that festival according to the canons, he afterwards returned to Hij, and earnestly recommended to his own monks to conform in this particular to the Catholic custom; but did not compass his ends before his death, which happened in 705. However, he left among them a judicious treatise, On the right time of keeping Easter, which disposed them some time after to forsake their erroneous computation.

St Columbkille. A window in St. Columbkille Church in Dubuque, IA.

St Columbkille. A window in St. Columbkille Church in Dubuque, IA.

St. Adamnan wrote the life of St. Columbkille; he also wrote certain canons, and a curious description of the Holy Land, as that country stood in his time. This book furnished Bede with his principal memorials, (l. De Locis Sanctis; and is published by Gretzer, and by Mabillon, t. 4, Act. Ord. St. Benedicti, p. 456). He mentions the tombs of St. Simeon and of St. Joseph at Jerusalem, many relics of the passion of Christ, the impression of the feet of our Saviour on Mount Olivet, covered with a church of a round figure, with a hole open on the top, over the place of the impression of the footsteps; he also mentions grasshoppers in the deserts of the Jordan, which the common people eat, boiled with oil; and a portion of the cross in the Rotunda church in Constantinople, which was exposed on a golden altar on the three last days of Holy Week, when the emperor, court, army, clergy, and others went to that church at different hours, to kiss that sacred wood. (3)

Cathedral of St. Eunan and St Columba

Cathedral of St. Eunan and St Columba

The festival of St. Adamnan is kept with great solemnity in many churches in Ireland, of which he is titular patron, and in the whole diocese of Raphoe, of which he was a native.

Also called St. Eunan's Cathedral, after St. Adhamhnáin.

Also called St. Eunan’s Cathedral, after St. Adhamhnáin.

Note 1. Rath, in old Irish, signifies a town or military inclosure, and Both, a booth, or cottage: so that Rathboth is a town made up of cottages.
Note 2. Hist. Eccles. l. 5, c. 16.
Note 3. See Mabillon, t. 4. Act. Ord. Bened. p. 456. Bp. Tanner, de Scriptor. p. 5.

(from Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints, by Rev. Alban Butler, Vol IX, D.&J. Sadlier Publisher, New York, 1821, pp 740-741).

You can read the Life of St. Columba by St. Adamnan, Ninth Abbot of that Monastery here:

‘Anti-homophobia’ bill reminiscent of Maoist/Stalinist politics

by Hilary White

ROME, September 24, 2013 ( Italy’s “anti-homophobia” bill, that was passed in the Chamber of Deputies last week, is reminiscent of the methods used by the Soviet Union and Maoist China to suppress political dissent, a prominent English political philosopher told an Italian interviewer today. The language and ideas behind the bill, he said, are a form of Orwellian “Newspeak” being used to create the idea in the public mind that there is a vast, “malignant force” of discrimination and intolerance.

Roger Scruton teaches philosophy at Oxford and St. Andrew’s University in Scotland, and held a fellowship at Cambridge. He told Il Foglio that the “homosexual issue is complicated and difficult” but it is not going to be helped by a blunt instrument like the proposed anti-homophobia law.

The law on homophobia, said Scruton, “is to instill in the minds of the public the idea of a malignant force that pervades the whole of Europe, housed in the hearts and in the heads of people who may be unaware of its machinations.”

Such laws, he said, have contributed to a self-censoring atmosphere in European countries, “a fear of heresy”. The ideologues behind these laws, have created “a remarkable emerging system of semi-official labels intended to prevent the expression of ‘dangerous viewpoints’.” The success of these labels, he said, has been to “sideline and condemn opponents of the Communist belief that reality can be changed by changing the language.”

Scruton, apart from his extensive academic and literary achievements, worked to found underground free universities in several Central European countries during Soviet rule. “You can’t imprison thought with law,” he said. The proposed law “is the criminalization of intellectual criticism on the subject of gay marriage. It’s a new intellectual, ideological crime, as was anti-communism during the cold war.”

“To me, this Bill on homophobia is reminiscent of the Moscow trials, and those of Maoist China, where victims confessed their crimes enthusiastically before being executed.

When political activists accuse opponents of “hate,” he said, there is a “moral inversion”. “If you oppose the normalization of homosexuality you are a ‘homophobe’. If you believe in Western culture, you are an ‘elitist’. Accusations of ‘homophobia’ means the end of a career, especially for those who work at a University.”

He compared this process of political manipulation to the process described by George Orwell in his classic political satire 1984. The “Newspeak” of the bill is an example of the use of langauge to create a “spell”.

The purpose of such linguistic manipulation is to “show the triumph of words over things, the futility of rational argumentation and the danger of resistance to the spell.”

The threat, he said, is more than theoretical. He pointed to the killing of millions in the Stalinist Soviet Union, which the Communists described as “just the ‘kulak clearance’.”

“How easy is it to lock up people for years in forced labor camps until they get sick or die, if the only language allowed to define it is ‘re-education’,” Scruton said.

“Now there is a new secular bigotry that wants to criminalize freedom of expression on the big topic of homosexuality.”

These concerns were echoed today by Alfredo Mantovano writing on the Catholic opinion website, La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, who reported that a conference held on Sunday in Casale Monferrato was mobbed by a group of homosexualist demonstrators who disrupted the proceedings with signs and shouts.

The conference, titled “Gender, Homophobia, Transphobia: Towards the Abolition of Man?” was organised by the Catholic associations, Alleanza Cattolica, Communion and Liberation and the Life Movement under the auspices of the Office for the pastoral care of health of the Diocese of Casale. The entrance was blocked by a picket line of people wearing t-shirts and holding up signs with the slogans of the homosexualist movement.

During one of the first talks, about 40 of the demonstrators, organised by Turin GBLT Pride Coordination, The Altereva Group and Arcigay, entered the room and began to disrupt the speaker, shouting slogans such as the often used “shame” and whistling. One demonstrator approached the table where the presenter was speaking and stood in front of it with arms outstretched while about twenty girls holding signs went onto the stage and circled the table.

A conference organiser, Prof. Mauro Ronco, a Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Padua and a member of Alleanza Cattolica, ended the session and invited the audience to leave the hall without interacting with the demonstrators. Shortly after this, police arrived, Mantovano reports, and removed the demonstrators, “but the conference was now ruined.”

Mantovano commented, “The next day national newspapers did not carry even a paragraph of a hundred words. Absolute silence!”

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Exciting update: America Needs Fatima crosses the 10,000 rosary rally mark on feast of Our Lady of Ransom (Mercy), Sept. 24

2013 Rosary Rally GOAL: 10,000

Rallies scheduled to date: 10,035

                                    *                   *                        *

The continuing debate over abortion and same sex “marriage” everyone can agree that there is obviously something terribly wrong.

If we are serious about solving the moral crisis, Americans must be willing to assume once again responsibility for their lives and actions. We must accept once again the suffering and sacrifices that make up our lives.

And, most importantly, we must turn again to God who in His Providence will provide for our needs much better than any overdrawn government.

To solve our moral problem, we must seek outside help. This is a problem that is beyond human solutions. That is to say, we must pray for the grace to change our lives. As this involves everyone, we would do well to pray together in the public square.

That is why America Needs Fatima is organizing 10,000 Rosary Rallies on October 12, 2013.

See the exciting news of crossing the 10,000 mark:

May Our Lady take these nationwide prayers into account now and help our elected political leaders urgently find a way to resolve the present impasse.

Homosexual activists launch complaint against teacher who included homosexuality on list of possible sins

by Hilary White

September 23, 2013 ( – Days after the Italian lower house passed the country’s “anti-homophobia” law, the country’s leading homosexualist lobby group, Arcigay, appears to be testing the legal waters.

Together with The Omphalos Association and Arcilesbica Perugia, Arcigay has launched a complaint, called a “denunzia,” of “homophobia” that they allege was committed during a religious education class at the Liceo Classico Mariotti, a university preparatory high school, in the Umbrian town of Perugia.


According to the complaint, made to the National Anti-discrimination Office of the Ministry for Equal Opportunities, the teacher handed out a questionnaire to students asking them to rank from 0 to 10 the gravity of sinfulness of a list of activities, including, “Selling drugs, pollution, war, terrorism, murder, contraceptive methods, abortion, premarital experiences [that lead to] AIDS infection and homosexuality”.

In a media release, The Omphalos Association said the questionnaire gave “a judgement … which was not posed in a neutral manner” because it assumed that the behaviours listed incurred “guilt”.

“The questionnaire, in our opinion, was at best done very badly, and at worst was biased and provoked the pursuit of extremist and discriminatory arguments.”

“If the teacher’s intent had been to assess the pupils' perception towards socially relevant issues, as we read the statements of some high school students, it would have talked about ‘themes’ and not ‘blame’.”

One student spoke to local media, denying that the questionnaire was anything more than a teaching exercise, saying, “This school teaches us not to despise homosexuals or anyone else.”

In the class in question, the student said, “each gave his opinion” on the various items listed, “and the professor did not criticize those who gave a vote equal to 0 for homosexuality or infanticide or manslaughter or similar things! He was silent listening to his pupils compare their opinions.”

The student added, “You are really bad people! You have attacked a professor who had no intent beyond letting us compare [issues].”

The school’s dean said the questionnaire was in “total compliance with programs and ministerial directives” and had been published by an academic sociology journal ten years before. The dean said the complaint was nothing more than an “empty attempt at [political] exploitation”.

“You want to take this incident and force a certain type of interpretation. These deductions are rather artificial and subjective and arbitrary and appear, as ever, to have been built on nothing.”

Amazing: the foundation of the Mercedarians.

Mercedarians (Order of Our Lady of Mercy)

Foundation of the Order of Mercy, part of the center altarpiece of the Cathedral of Barcelona.

Foundation of the Order of Mercy, part of the center altarpiece of the Cathedral of Barcelona.

A congregation of men founded in 1218 by St. Peter Nolasco, born 1189, at Mas-des-Saintes-Puelles, Department of Aude, France. Joining Simon de Montfort’s army, then attacking the Albigenses, he was appointed tutor to the young king, James of Aragon, who had succeeded to the throne after the death of his father, Pedro II, killed at the battle of Muret. Peter Nolasco followed his pupil to his capital, Barcelona, in 1215. From the year 1192 certain noblemen of that city had formed a confraternity for the purpose of caring for the sick in hospitals, and also for rescuing Christian captives from the Moors.

Mercedarian Fathers ransoming Christan captives from the Muslims.

Mercedarian Fathers ransoming Christan captives from the Muslims.

Peter Nolasco was requested by the Blessed Virgin in a vision to found an order especially devoted to the ransom of captives. His confessor, St Raymond of Pennafort, the canon of Barcelona, encouraged and assisted him in this project; and King James also extended his protection. The noblemen already referred to were the first monks of the order, and their headquarters was the convent St. Eulalie of Barcelona, erected 1232. They had both religious in holy orders, and lay monks or knights; the choir monks were clothed in tunic, scapular, and cape of white. These religious followed the rule drawn up for them by St Raymond of Pennafort. The order was approved, first by Honorius III and then by Gregory IX (1230), the latter, at the request of St Raymond Nonnatus presented by St Peter Nolasco, granted a Bull of confirmation and prescribed the Rule of St. Augustine, the former rule now forming the constitutions (1235). St. Peter was the first superior, with the title of Commander-General; he also filled the office of Ransomer, a title given to the monk sent into the lands subject to the Moors to arrange for the ransom of prisoners. The holy founder died in 1256, seven years after having resigned his superiorship; he was succeeded by Guillaume Le Bas.

La Mercè Basilica, in Barcelona, where her incorrupt body reposes on the right side of the altar.

La Mercè Basilica, in Barcelona, where her incorrupt body reposes on the right side of the altar.

The development of the order was immediate and widespread throughout France, England, Germany, Portugal, and Spain. As the Moors were driven back, new convents of Mercy were established. Houses were founded at Montpelier, Perpignan, Toulouse, and Vich. The great number of houses, however, had a weakening effect on the uniformity of observance of the rule. To correct this, Bernard de Saint-Romain, the third commander general (1271), codified the decisions of the general chapters. In the fourteenth century, disputes arose from the rivalry between the convents of Barcelona and Puy, and from the discord between the priests and knights, which ended in the latter’s suppression, disturbed the peace of the order. Christopher Columbus took some members of the Order of Mercy with him to America, where they founded a great many convents in Latin America, throughout Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Ecuador. These formed no less than eight provinces, whereas they only had three in Spain and one in France. This order took a very active part in the conversion of the Indians. Subscription11At the beginning of the seventeenth century Father Gonzales, who had made his profession in the convent of Olmedo in 1573, conceived the idea of a reform, at that time necessary. The commander-general, Alfonso de Montoy, at first supported this scheme, but ended by opposing it. In this undertaking, Gonzales was assisted by the Countess of Castellan, who obtained for him the necessary authorization from Clement VIII, and presented him with three convents for the reformed monks (at Viso, Diocese of Seville; Almoragha, Diocese of Cadiz; Ribas). The reform was confirmed at the provincial chapter of Guadelajara in 1603. Father Gonzales took the name of John Baptist of the Blessed Sacrament, and died at Madrid in 1618. Paul V approved his reform in 1606; in 1621 Gregory XV declared it independent of the monks of the Great Observance. Their convents formed two provinces,with houses at Madrid, Salamanca, Seville, and Alcalá, with a few foundations in Sicily.

St. Peter Nolasco

St. Peter Nolasco

Father Antoine Velasco founded a convent of nuns of Our Lady of Mercy at Seville in 1568, of which the first superioress was Blessed Ann of the Cross. This foundation had been authorized by Pius V. The reformed branch also established houses of barefooted nuns, or Nuns of the Recollection, at Lura, Madrid, Santiago de Castile, Fuentes, Thoro, and elsewhere. The female tertiaries go back to the very beginning of the order (1265). Two widows of Barcelona, Isabel Berti and Eulalie Peins, whose confessor was Blessed Bernard of Corbario, prior of the convent there, were the foundresses. They were joined by several companions, among them St. Mary of Succour (d. 31 Decemb., 1281), the first superior of the community. Blessed Mary Anne of Jesus (d. 1624) founded another community of tertiaries, under the jurisdiction of the reformed branch. The Order of Mercy of late years has much decreased in membership. The restoration of the reformed convent at Thoro, Diocese of Zamora, Spain, is worthy of note (1888). At present the order has one province and one vice-province in Europe, and four provinces and two vice-provinces in America, with thirty-seven convents and five to six hundred members. The Mercedarian convents are in Palermo; Spain; Venezuela (Caracas, Maracaibo); Peru (Lima); Chile (Santiago); Argentina (Cordova, Mendoza); Ecuador (Quito); and Uruguay. The Mercedarians of Cordova publish “Revista Mercedaria”.

Mercedarias Descalzas Convent in Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Mercedarias Descalzas Convent in Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Besides the founder, St. Peter Nolasco, the following illustrious members of the order may be mentioned: St. Raymond Nonnatus (d. 1240), the most famous of the monks who gave themselves up to the work of ransoming captives; Blessed Bernard of Corbario, already mentioned; St. Peter Paschal, Bishop of Jaen, who devoted all his energies to the ransom of captives and the conversion of the Musselmans, martyred in 1300; St. Raymond was a cardinal, as also were Juan de Luto and Father de Salazar. It is unnecessary to enumerate the archbishops and bishops. Writers were numerous, especially in Spain and Latin America in the seventeenth century. To mention only a few: Alfonso Henriquez de Almendaris, Bishop of Cuba, who founded a college for his order at Seville, and from whom Philip III received an interesting report on the spiritual and temporal condition of his diocese in 1623; Alfonso de Monroy, who drew up the constitutions of the reform, and who was a bishop in America; Alfonso Ramón, theologian, preacher, and annalist of his order; Alfonso Velásquez de Miranda (1661), who took a considerable part in political affairs; Fernando de Orio, general of the order, who translated and learnedly commented on Tertullian’s treatise “De Poenitentia”; Fernando de Santiago (1639), one of the favourite preachers of his time; Francisco Henríquez; Francisco de Santa Maria; Francisco Zumel; Gabriel de Adarzo (1674), theologian, preacher, and statesman; Gabreil Tellez (1650), dramatic author; Gaspar de Torrez, Bishop of the Canary Islands; Pedro de Ona, whom Philip III sent on important missions both in America and in the Kingdom of Naples.

Fr. Francisco Zumel Painting by Francisco de Zurbarán

Fr. Francisco Zumel Painting by Francisco de Zurbarán

(from: Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Tagged as: Chivalry, Elites, Mercedarian, Monarchy, Nobility, Our Lady, Reconquista, Royal and Noble Saints, Saints, Spanish Reconquista, War

September 24 is the feast of Our Lady of Ransom

Feast of Our Lady of Ransom (also Our Lady of Mercy) 24 September commemorates the foundation of the Mercedarians.

Our Lady of Mercy, General of the Ecuadorian Armed Forces. This statue is in Quito, Ecuador.

Our Lady of Mercy, General of the Ecuadorian Armed Forces. This statue is in Quito, Ecuador.

On 10 August, 1223, the Mercedarian Order was legally constituted at Barcelona by King James of Aragon and was approved by Gregory IX on 17 January, 1235. The Mercedarians celebrated their institution on the Sunday nearest to 1 Aug. (on which date in the year 1233 the Blessed Virgin was believed to have shown St. Peter Nolasco the white habit of the order), and this custom was approved by the Congregation of Rites on 4 April, 1615 (Anal. Juris Pont., VII, 136). On 22 Feb., 1696, it was extended to the entire Latin Church, and the date changed to 24 September. The Mercedarians keep this feast as a double of the first class, with a vigil, privileged octave, and proper Office under the title: “Solemnitas Descensionis B. Mariæ V. de Mercede”. Our Lady of Ransom is the principal patron of Barcelona; the proper Office was extended to Barcelona (1868) and to all Spain (second class, 1883). Sicily, which had suffered so much from the Saracens, took up the old date of the feast (Sunday nearest to 1 Aug.) by permission of the Congregation of Rites, 31 Aug., 1805 (double major), Apparition of Our Lady to St. Peter Nolasco in the choir of Barcelona, on the Sunday after 24 Sept. In England the devotion to Our Lady of Ransom was revived in modern times to obtain the rescue of England as Our Lady’s Dowry.

F.G. HOLWECK (Catholic Encyclopedia)

First ever Slovak March for Life shatters expectations, draws huge crowd of 80,000

by Hilary White

Organizers were stunned by the massive turnout.

Photo: hlavnespravy

Co-authored with Thaddeus Baklinski

ROME September 23, 2013 ( - Over 80,000 people gathered in the Slovakian town of Košice yesterday for the country’s first ever March for Life, a number that has astonished even the event’s organisers. “Such a number of people no one expected,” one eyewitness told local news services.

So many came that the 2.5 kilometer route was too short to accommodate all the marchers, according to an on-the-spot account by Hlavné Správy, a local news service, and the crowd shut down most streets in the city’s core. Although the March was supposed to have started by 12:30 pm, by 3 pm most of the crowd “had not yet budged because of the huge mass of people who completely fill the street”.

The March for Life was held on the same weekend as the Gay Pride demonstration in the capital, Bratislava, which reportedly attracted about 1000 participants.

Organizers of the March for Life said their aim was to mobilize the public to advise legislators that the "protection of life, and family consisting of a married man and woman as indispensable basis for the stability and development of life in Slovakia has public support."

While Slovakian pro-lifers have held pro-life demonstrations before, this event, organized by the Conference of Slovak Bishops (KBS) with the help of Fórum života (Forum for Life), was the first event organized on a national scale.

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“The atmosphere in the city is electrifying from emotion; people have tears on their faces,” one observer wrote, adding that the number of children and people with disabilities was “astounding”.

Flags and banners asked for protection for the family and protection of human beings from conception.

One man, who identified himself as a homosexual who had come from out of town to attend, said, “I am for the family. I myself grew up in a family. And of course, I’m all for life…Attitude for life is an attitude for all the people. That we do not discriminate against anyone is first and foremost the issue with abortion.”

The march was preceded by a Mass, celebrated by 16 Catholic bishops, and an evening vigil. Papal Nuncio Mario Giordana conveyed greetings from Pope Francis to the crowd, saying, “Pope Francis sends you a message: Never let anyone stop you from promoting the culture of life.”

Miroslav Mikolášik, a member of the European Parliament who attended, told the news site Aleteia, “We were all shocked at the sheer magnitude of the March for Life.”

Organizers of the March had prepared for a massive demonstration, expecting about 50,000 participants. However, according to initial estimates, between 70,000 and 80,000 people actually attended. Participants came from Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, the Slovak Spectator reported. 

The well-organized preparations included 700 volunteers and 50 paramedics with four ambulances.

According to a report by Hlavné Správy, March organizers used four kilometers of security tape, and had 100 information boards, 10,000 balloons and 100,000 leaflets along the march route. Parking was prepared for 500 buses and 5000 cars, while three special trains were dispatched to Košice from Bratislava and Zilina.

(See photos of the march here)

In a pastoral letter read in Catholic churches across the country on September 1, the Slovak Bishops urged the faithful and all those who believe in the value of life to attend the National March for Life.

The bishops warned that the attitudes of many lawmakers and those who have an impact on public opinion in Slovakia are focused more often on death than on life. They pointed out that the introduction of laws permitting euthanasia in some countries, as well as abortion and genetic experimentation, are all areas of serious concern, noting that while "unborn children are killed with impunity, the elderly, the ill and otherwise inconvenient people are now also at risk."

"The National March for Life, with the theme ‘Poďme von a bojujme za život’ (Come out and let us fight for life), is the culmination of many years of efforts to promote the culture of life in response to a growing disregard of the value of human life and the family as the ideal place for life to flourish," said co-organizer Fr. Dušan Škurla.

Explaining the choice of venue for the country's first National March for Life, Fr. Škurla said, "Košice, as this year's European Capital of Culture, is a good place to appeal to the nation for the protection of life as a basic cultural expression."

The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union each year to draw attention to and promote the cultural heritage of cities in member states. Košice in Slovakia, along with Marseille, France, are the European Capital of Culture cities for 2013.

"We would like to make Košice a city of the Culture of Life," said Fr. Škurla, who for many years organized marches and citywide prayer services for life in the eastern Slovakian city of 1/4 million inhabitants.

The rally began in the afternoon with the reading of the National March for Life Manifesto.

The manifesto called for all public officials, particularly the federal government and all state institutions, to promote and create legislation for the protection of every human being from conception to natural death.

It called for legislation to protect "marriage of a man and woman as a unique and irreplaceable bond which respects the natural law that is recognized by right reason."

Something few participants at any March for Life have seen was present in Košice on Sunday.

Catholic priest and scout leader Fr. Andrej Legutký from Vrbova flew over the march route in a paraglider filming the huge procession of the National March for Life below.

Since 1986, abortion has been available on demand for pregnancy up to 12 weeks. Girls 16-17 can obtain abortions without parental consent, though the family is required to be notified. Abortion rates, however, are dropping, from a peak in the late 1980s of 40 per 1000 pregnancies – about 35 per cent of all pregnancies – immediately following liberalisation of the law, to the lowest rate recorded since legalisation in 1957, of under 15 induced abortions per 1000 births, a drop of about 73 per cent.

Slovakia is 68.9 per cent Latin Catholic, 10.8 per cent Protestant and 4.1 per cent Greek Catholic. The country is suffering the same demographic crisis faced by most European nations, with a total fertility rate of 1.39 children born per woman and an aging population. The median age for women is 39.9 years.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Over 9,800 Rosary Rally Captains Get Ready

ROSSVILLE, Kans., Sept. 23, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- Thousands of Catholic volunteers are preparing to pray the Public Square Rosary to save America from the sins of abortion and same-sex "marriage."

America Needs Fatima coordinated 9,077 Rosary Rallies last year.

This year, the goal is 10,000 Public Square Rosary Rallies nationwide and the target date is Saturday, October 12, at noon, local time.

At the group's campaign headquarters in Rossville, Kansas, national coordinator Francis Slobodnik announced that they had crossed the threshold of 9,800 Rosary Rally Captains and are fast reaching their goal of 10,000 rallies.

"We're almost at our goal of 10,000 rosary rallies. Rally captains are really excited and momentum is picking up fast," noted Mr. Slobodnik. "Catholics will proclaim their faith publicly, pray for America, and send a strong pro-life and pro-family message in the public square."

"The office is buzzing with activity. Rosary volunteers and staff are busy contacting new rosary captains, answering questions and sending out supplies. Our biggest challenge is not recruiting rally captains, but rather finding the time to speak with all the people who call in and express interest," Mr. Slobodnik said.

"More and more people are looking to the Fatima message as a secure beacon in the moral crisis in society." Mr. Slobodnik continued. "In other words, prayer, penance and conversion are the answer to our nation's pressing problems."

To find a Rosary Rally near you, call toll-free: 1-866-584-6012.

For interviews:
Contact: Francis Slobodnik
Phone: 866-584-6012
Web site:

She Was The Scandal Of Alexandria

Oh, if all men loved this most kind and loving Lady, and in temptations always and immediately had  recourse to her, who would fall?

Who would be lost? He falls and is lost who does not flee to Mary.

Statue of “Sedes Sapientiae” [Seat of Wisdom]

Nothing remains to be done, says St. Thomas of Villanova, when the devil comes to tempt us, but, like the chickens when the kite appears, to run quickly under the shelter of the wings of our mother.

Let us, then, at the approach of the temptations which assail us, without stopping to parley with them, place ourselves at once under the protection of Mary. And then, the saint goes on to say, Our Lady and mother must defend us; for, after God, we have no refuge but thee, who art our only hope, and the only protectress in whom we may confide.

Let us then conclude with the words of St. Bernard; Oh man, whoever thou art, thou knowest that in this miserable life thou art rather tossing on the tempestuous waves, among dangers and tempests, than walking upon the earth; if thou  wouldst not sink, keep thy eye fixed on this star, namely, Mary.

Look at the star, invoke Mary. When in danger of sinning, when tormented by temptations, when doubts disturb thee, remember that Mary can aid thee, and instantly call upon her. May her powerful name never depart from the confidence of thy heart, nor from the invocation of thy lips.

If thou wilt follow Mary, thou shalt never wander from the path of safety. Commend thyself always to her, and thou shalt not despair. If she upholds thee, thou shalt not fall. If she protects thee, thou need not fear ruin. If she guides thee, thou shalt be saved without difficulty. In a word, if Mary undertakes to defend thee, thou shalt certainly arrive at the kingdom of the blessed.

Thus do, and thou shalt live.

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In the celebrated history of St. Mary of Egypt, which we find in the first volume of the Lives of the Fathers, we read that, at twelve years of age she fled from her parents, and went to Alexandria, where she led an infamous life, and became the scandal of the city. After sixteen years spent in sin, she wandered off to Jerusalem; when, on the festival of the Holy Cross, she was led to enter the church, more from curiosity than devotion. On the threshold she was thrust back, as if by some invisible power; she attempted a second time to enter, and again was repelled, and a third and a fourth time the same thing happened.

The wretched creature withdrew then into a corner of the portico, and there she was interiorly enlightened, and saw that God had refused her entrance into the church on account of her wicked life.

By chance she raised her eyes, and saw a picture of Mary which was painted in the vestibule. She turned to it, weeping, and said: “Oh Mother of God, have pity on this poor sinner! I know that, on account of my sins, I do not deserve that thou shouldst regard me; but thou art the refuge of sinners: for the love of Jesus, thy Son, help me. Obtain for me that I may enter the church, for I desire to change my life, and go and do penance wherever thou shalt direct.”

Then she heard an interior voice, as if the blessed Virgin answered her: “Come, since thou hast invoked me, and wishest to change thy life, enter the church, for the door will no longer be closed against thee.”

The sinner entered, adored the cross, and wept. She returned to the picture: “Oh Lady,” she said, “I am ready; where shall I retire to do penance?” “Go,” said the Virgin, “beyond the Jordan, and thou wilt find the place of thy repose.”

She made her confession, received Holy Communion, passed the river, reached the desert, and understood that there was her place of penance.

During the first seventeen years that she lived in the desert, the evil spirits fiercely assailed her, to make her fall again. What did she then do? She recommended herself to Mary, and Mary obtained for her strength to resist for seventeen years, after which the conflict ceased.

Finally, after fifty-seven years spent in the desert, in the eighty-seventh of her age, through Divine Providence, she was found by the abbot St. Zosimus. To him she related the story of her whole life, and begged him to return there the following year, and bring her holy communion.

The holy abbot returned, and gave her communion. Then she implored him again to do the same thing. He returned the second time, and found her dead, her body surrounded with light, and at her head these words written in the sand: “Bury in this place the body of me, a miserable sinner, and pray God for me.”

A lion came and dug her grave, the abbot buried her, and, returning to the monastery, he related the wonders of divine mercy towards this happy penitent.

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Oh mother of mercy! holy Virgin! behold at thy feet the traitor, who, returning ingratitude for the favors received through thee from God has betrayed thee and God. But, oh my Lady! know that my misery does not destroy, but rather increases my confidence in thee, because I see that my misery increases thy compassion for me.

Show, oh Mary! that thou art the same to me as thou art to all those who invoke thee, full of grace and mercy. It is enough for me that thou regardest me with compassion. If in thy heart thou hast pity for me, thou wilt not cease to protect me; and if thou dost protect me, what should I fear?

No, I fear nothing; I fear not my sins, for thou canst remedy their evil consequences; nor the demons, for thou art more powerful than hell; nor thy Son who is justly angry with me, for at one word of thine He will be appeased.

I only fear that through negligence I may fail to implore thy protection in my temptations, and that this may cause my ruin. But I promise thee today; I will always have recourse to thee. Help me to keep this resolution. Behold the opportunity thou hast of satisfying thy desire to relieve so miserable a creature as I am.

Oh mother of God, I have great confidence in thee. From thee I expect the grace to do just penance for my sins, and from thee I hope the strength never more to fall back into them. If I am sick, thou canst heal me, oh heavenly physician. If my sins have made me weak, thy help can make me strong. Oh Mary, I hope every thing from thee, for thou hast all power with God.

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This “Stories of Mary – Stories of the Rosary” is taken from the Glories of Mary, translated from the Italian of St. Alphonsus Liguori; New Revised Edition, P.J. Kennedy & Sons. Copyright 1888 by P.J

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