Church News, History, News About Saints, Saints Stories

Algerian Bishops on the Announcement of the Beatification of Their Nation’s Martyrs

Announcement of the beatification of our nineteen brothers and sisters

Statement of the Bishops of Algeria

Our Church is full of Joy.  Pope Francis has just authorized the signature of the decree of beatification of “Monsignor Pierre Claverie and his 18 men and women companions”.  Continue reading

This and That, Uncategorized

A North Korean Christmas

Please take a moment to read this (thank you): At Christmas and year’s end, we consider our many blessings. After faith, life, family, and health, the greatest of all is the freedom we enjoy. So as you go to church, light a candle, say your prayers, eat your Christmas or Hanukkah feast, as you raise your toasts, and as you make your New Year’s resolutions, please think of and — most importantly —  pray for the people of North Korea (aka, DPRK), for here is how the Christmas season will look to them.

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Spiritual Reflections

Great homily on our veterans

It is so rare that we hear our veterans praised in glowing terms from the pulpit. So when it happens, it’s worth recognizing and drawing to people’s attention.

Some background:

On Sunday, November 12, I went to St. Maron Church in South Philly because they had the relics of St. Maron, the founder of not only the Maronite Order but the Maronite rite within the Catholic Church. It has produced other great saints such as St. Rafka and St. Charbel (aka, Sharbel) Mahklouf, to whom I devoted a chapter in my first book.

I recorded the homily because I thought Fr. Vincent Farhat, the pastor, might mention St. Maron, which I could then use in some form (article, blog post, etc.).

Instead he took me by surprise with a sermon exclusively dedicated to why our veterans are a force for good and for God.

I’ve heard homilies that mention vets before. I’ve heard perfunctory thanks from the pulpit in the past. This was the first time I’d ever encountered such a full-throated appreciation of our vets and what they give to us.

With Father’s graceful permission, I transcribed the homily and present it here for your consideration.

Praise be to God for our veterans! Thank you all, not only for your service, but the sacrifice(s) that service has entailed throughout the years. God bless you each and every one.

(NB: The Gospel passage in the Maronite rite for the day came from John 10:22-39.) Continue reading


New papal motu proprio re: the making of saints

Yesterday, July 11, 2017, the Holy Father released a motu proprio that enacts a third category of those eligible for sainthood: Those who gives their lives in an act of charity. This is in addition to the two previous categories, those who died in odium fidei (hatred of the faith, i.e., martyrs) and those who died after living a life of heroic Christian virtue.

Here is the Google Translate version of the document, which is at this point only available in Latin and Italian: Continue reading


Saints Causes Progress

From a Vatican news release:

Promulgation of the Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints (16 June 2017), 17.06.2017


On 16 June 2017, the Holy Father Francis received in audience His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

During the audience, the Holy Father authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the following decrees:

– the martyrdom of the Venerable Servant of God Teresio Olivelli, layperson (NOTE: Pictured above); killed in hatred of the faith on 17 January 1945; (Here is the Wikipedia article on him.)

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God António José De Sousa Barroso, bishop of Porto; born 5 November 1854 and died on 31 August 1918;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God José de Jesus López y González, bishop of Aguas Calientes and Founder of the Congregation of the Catholic Sisters Teachers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; born on 16 October 1872 and died on 11 November 1950;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God, Agostino Ernesto Castrillo, bishop of San Marco Argentano-Bisignano, of the Order of Friars Minor; born on 18 February 1904 and died on 16 October, 1955;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Giacomo da Balduina (né Benjamin Filon), professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin; born on 2 August 1900 and died on 21 July 1948;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God, Mary of Angels (née Giuseppa Operti), professed nun of the Order of the Descalced Carmelites and founder of the Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa of Turin; born on 16 November 1871 and died on 7 October 1949;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Umiltà Patlán Sánchez (née Maria), professed religious sister of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception; born 17 March 1895 and died on 17 June 1970.


After the Faruqi Bill: Towards a Culture of Life

The Sydney Tory

Last week, protesters gathered to hang coat hangers on the gates of NSW Parliament House. The coat hangers featured the faces of 25 politicians who voted against the Abortion Law Reform Bill; a defeated bill that was originally introduced by Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi to decriminalise abortion access across NSW. The bill’s defeat was heralded as an “attack on women’s rights” by the pro-choice left and social media roared thereafter with a multitude of reactions.

I for one am grateful that the Faruqi bill was defeated.

This represents not only a victory for the pro-life movement but also an indication of how grassroots activism and advocacy will always trump cheap sloganeering and fear mongering. Over 56,000 signatures were collected in a petition against the bill and a new conversation has been kindled.

Indeed, the recent spate of abortion bills introduced in New South Wales and Queensland represents an…

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