Sunday, August 8, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SUN. AUG. 8, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SUN. AUG. 8, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE ANGELUS ADDRESS CALLS US TO OPEN OUR HEARTS TO HOPE-
ASIA: AFGHANISTAN: 10 CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES KILLED BY TALIBAN FOR BIBLES-
AFRICA: KENYA: CARDINAL'S REACTION TO VOTE IN FAVOR OF CONSTITUTION-
AUSTRALIA: FR. KOLENCHERRY APPOINTED COORDINATOR OF SYRO-MALABAR RITE-
AMERICA: USA: COUPLE RUN PRISON MINISTRY FOR 15 YEARS-
EUROPE: SPAIN: ARCHBISHOP RODRIGUEZ WITH 750 YOUTH ON ST. JAMES WAY-
VATICAN: POPE ANGELUS ADDRESS CALLS US TO OPEN OUR HEARTS TO HOPEDear brothers and sisters, in reflecting this Sunday, continues the discourse of Jesus to the disciples on the value of the person in the eyes of God and the futility of earthly concerns. This is not a eulogy to the disengagement. Indeed, listening to the call of Jesus ' Not reassuring to abandon, because your father liked give you the Kingdom ' (Luke 12,32), our heart is opened to a hope that illuminates and the soul: we have the certainty that the Gospel is not just a communication of things you may know, but it is a communication that produces facts and changes the lives. The dark time, port of the future, was wide open. Who has hope lives differently; he was given a new life ' (ENC Spe Salvi, 2). As we read in the story of the Hebrews in today's Liturgy, Abraham forward with heart confident in the hope that God opens: the promise of a land and a large ' descent ' and the ' without knowing where he went ", trusting only in God (cf. 11.8-12). And Jesus in the Gospel today – through three parables – explains how waiting for the completion of the "blessed hope», his coming, must push even more to a life of intense, full of good works: ' Sell what you own and give it in alms; get scholarships that never grow old, secure a treasure in heaven, where no thief comes and tarlo does not consume (Luke 12,33). It is an invitation to use things without selfishness, thirst for possession or domain, but according to the logic of God, the logic of attention to another, the logic of love: how writes synthetically Romano Guardini, ' in the form of a report: with God, in view of God» (Accept yourself, Brescia 1992, 44). In this regard, I wish to draw attention to some Saints who will celebrate this week and who have set their lives right with God and in God's sight. Today we remember St. Dominic Guzman founder, in the 13th century, of the Dominican order, which has the mission to educate society about the truth of faith, preparing with the study and prayer. At the same time santa Chiara di Assisi,-of which we will make memory Wednesday-Franciscan, continuing, founds the second order of the Poor Clares. We will remember the 10 August the Holy Deacon Lorenzo, martyr of the third century, whose relics are venerated in Rome in the Basilica of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura. Finally, we'll make memory of other two martyrs who shared the same fate in Auschwitz. August 9th, we will remember the Holy Carmelite Teresa Benedicta of the cross, Edith Stein, and on 14 August the Franciscan priest Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe, founder of the militia of Mary Immaculate. Both have crossed the dark time of the second world war, without ever losing sight of the hope, the God of life and love. We trust in maternal support of Virgin Mary, Queen of all saints who lovingly shares our pilgrimage. You call our prayer. SOURCE http://www.vatican.va/
AFGHANISTAN: 10 CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES KILLED BY TALIBAN FOR BIBLES
Asia News report: The ten men belonged to the International Assistance Mission (IAM), a Christian charitable organization based in Switzerland. According to the Taliban they were in possession of Bibles translated into Dari, the local language. Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman: "They were Christian missionaries and we killed them all." The IAM denies it is involved in proselytizing.
Kabul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Eight foreigners and two Afghans of the International Assistance Mission (IAM), a Christian charitable organization providing aid and medical assistance to the Afghan people were killed by the Taliban in the district of Kuran wa Munjan in the region of Badakhshan , northeast Afghanistan. Gen Kemtuz, one of three Afghan translators, is the only survivor. The organisation in question is Swiss based International Assistance Mission, which offers medical assistance.
Dirk Frans, IAM Executive Director said that doctors – all opticians - were returning to Kabul from the region of Nuristan, after a two and a half visit, through Badakhshan, considered the safest route. The IAM lost contact with the doctors vehicles on Wednesday and it is presumed they were attacked between Wednesday and Thursday.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the murders through spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid who claimed that the doctors were in possession of Bibles translated into Dari, the local language. "Yesterday - he said - " one of our patrols confronted a group of foreigners. They were Christian missionaries and we killed them all". He added that they were “American spies” and that they were looking for information on extremist strongholds.
Dirk Frans has strongly denied this claim: "We have been working in Afghanistan since 1966. They know that we are a Christian institution, but we certainly do not distribute Bibles”. He added that all of the victims were doctors and that IAM only provides medical assistance.
The names of the eight victims are already known but have not yet been made public. They include six Americans, a Briton and a German. The bodies have been transferred to Kabul. The group's leaders, said Frans, had worked in Afghanistan for decades.
The region of Badakhshan, bordering Tajikistan, is one of the few regions of Afghanistan that the U.S. has stolen control of from the Taliban after the 2001 invasion. The region is considered safe, although the local population has shown signs of revolt in recent times.
image of dr. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/7933035/Killing-of-British-doctor-in-Afghanistan-a-cowardly-act-says-William-Hague.html
KENYA: CARDINAL'S REACTION TO VOTE IN FAVOR OF CONSTITUTION
All Africa report: The Church has not lost its credibility due to the decision by Kenyans to approve the proposed constitution at the referendum.
He said the Church, which campaigned against the proposed constitution, respects the outcome of the referendum where majority Kenyans voted for the document.
"Kenyans have voted after having heart with what the various people had to tell them," he said.
Cardinal Njue, however, said the majority does not necessarily mean the truth.
"Truth and right are not about numbers," he said at the Kenya Episcopal Conference offices in Nairobi where he convened a press conference to comment on the results.
"We therefore as the shepherds placed to give moral guidance to our people still reiterate the need to address the flawed moral issues in this Constitution, that voice should never be silenced," he said.
The Church was strongly opposed to the clauses on abortion and the kadhi courts.
Cardinal Njue, the Archbishop of Nairobi, said churches had played their part guiding their flock.
"We have travelled a long and arduous road that has seen us speak to you as your shepherds and direct your footsteps along the road of proper moral choice, we are convinced before God that we have played our role as mandated to us with diligence and respect," he said.
He added that the church has not shied away from stating the tenets of its faith with regard to certain issues on the new Constitution 'in season and out of season".
"We, your Catholic Bishops, have done our bit before the referendum to sensitise Kenyans about the danger of passing a Constitution that does not respect our moral values, God will be our judge.
"We have urged the Kenyan people to pray for a good Constitution that respects the right to life, safeguards religious freedom in its legitimate manifestations and upholds the family as the most important societal institution," said the Archbishop.
The Church says it will remains at the forefront to support the Constitution and legal reforms in the country for a better society.
"Most Kenyans indeed recognised that the proposed constitution we voted for or against on August 4 had errors that needed to be corrected, our main difference was whether we believed the reform should take place before or after the vote," Cardinal Njue said.
The Church has also commended Kenyans for upholding peace and the Interim Independent Electoral Commission for steering the process.
It has urged Kenyans to remain peaceful in the post-referendum period.
The Catholic Church is expected to give a more comprehensive statement on the results in the coming week.
FR. KOLENCHERRY APPOINTED FIRST COORDINATOR OF SYRO-MALABAR RITE
The appointment was made by Archbishop Philip Wilson, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
The National Coordinator is an important liaison between the various Syro-Malabar migrant communities in the practice of their faith and traditions, with responsibility to oversee and administer their pastoral needs and to forge links between them and the Catholic Church in Australia/Syro-Malabar Church in India.
Fr Francis is the Administrator of St Christopher's Cathedral in Canberra, and will undertake his new role in conjunction with his current duties, according to a media statement.
The Syro-Malabar Church is one of the Eastern Rite (also called Oriental) Catholic Churches and has a rich and fascinating history. It was founded by St Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, in 52 A.D. after he travelled to Kodungallur, on the coast of Kerala state in India.
The Church has become one of the biggest Oriental churches in the world with four Archdioceses and twenty two Dioceses with 4.67 million Catholics.
As National Coordinator, Fr Francis brings an extraordinary breadth of experience to his new role, from his formation and ministry among the poor and underprivileged in India and a four-year pastoral ministry in the US before coming to Australia.
Fr Francis said that "One of the key priorities is to educate children in the Catholic Faith in accordance with the Syro-Malabar tradition. This will help to ensure their native language and cultural traditions will survive to the next generation.
"It will provide migrants with an important link to their Indian heritage, at the same time allowing them to fully integrate with Australian society. I am looking forward to working with different Syro Malabar communities and priests around Australia."
SPAIN: ARCHBISHOP RODRIGUEZ WALKS WITH 750 YOUTH ON ST. JAMES WAY
The archbishop met up with the large group of young people on Monday in the city of Gijon. He then walked 13 miles with them to the city of Aviles.
The young people from Toledo will meet up with thousands of their peers for a national youth meeting this coming Sunday in Santiago.
Image source http://www.elpais.com/recorte/20090426elpdmgrep_5/LCO340/Ies/Braulio_Rodriguez_nuevo_arzobispo_Toledo.jpg
USA: COUPLE RUN PRISON MINISTRY FOR 15 YEARS
For the past 15 years, the Seiberts, both septuagenarians, have been involved in prison ministry, which brings prisoners of different faiths together with volunteers. They travel to correctional facilities in Suffield and Enfield three times a week to share their faith with inmates.
Both products of Catholic education, Walter and Ges, as she is known, say the ministry has fortified their faith. Although they describe their sharing of the faith as "Catechism 101," they are challenged by the questions inmates ask.
"We’ve had to answer questions that we never had to look at before because we just took things on faith. But a lot of these guys say, ‘I don’t want to know based upon faith, I want an answer to that,’" Walter said. "So we go back and look up the Church’s teaching."
The Seiberts’ ministry is funded entirely by the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal.
"Last year we got a $2,500 grant from that, and thank God," said Walter, adding that the money is used primarily to buy Bibles and catechisms in English and Spanish.
"We are so blessed," said Ges. "If somebody had told me, ‘One day, you’re going to enjoy going to prison,’ I would have said, ‘You’re out of your mind.’"The Seiberts, who have been married for 55 years, live at St. Joseph’s Residence, a home for the elderly run by the Little Sisters of the Poor.
They met on a blind date in college in the 1950s, were married in New York during a hurricane and "have done everything together ever since," said Ges with an infectious laugh.
Walter said when he was in business as a certified public accountant and Ges was raising their three children, they often thought, "God wants us to do something with our faith because we had been given so much, and we kept asking, ‘Lord, what do you want us to do?’ And no matter what we put our hands to," such as teaching religious education and other volunteerism, "nothing seemed to gel."
In 1996, Deacon Rene Kieda, then the Catholic chaplain at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, put a notice into the St. Martha Parish bulletin for people to help with the prison ministries program
Walter said he thanked God for not calling him to that ministry.
Two weeks later, when the Walter and Ges were at Mass, Deacon Robert Bernd talked about his involvement with the ministry.
Walter said he again thanked God for not calling him to that ministry.
Shortly after that, Walter said, when he went to confession, the priest told him to read Matthew 25 as a penance. It was the line "[For I was] in prison and you visited me" that shaped the couple’s future.
They started by visiting MacDougall-Walker and Carl Robinson Correctional Institution in Enfield every two weeks.
Now, they visit MacDougall-Walker twice a week and Carl Robinson weekly. They are there for about two hours, and their visits attract anywhere from several to 30 inmates. They show the men videos about the saints or the faith, talk about whatever topics the men raise, and are on hand for regular holy hours, eucharistic services (both are extraordinary ministers of holy Communion) and inmate-led Rosaries and Divine Mercy Chaplets.
"The basic attitude we’re going in with is that Jesus is love, and we want to be vessels of his love," said Walter. "We want to restore their God-given dignity and let them know that the Lord loves them unconditionally.
"We have found so many men who are trying to turn their lives around," said Walter. They aim to make the Catholic faith a vital part of the men’s lives.
Walter and Ges have witnessed conversions to the faith. Ges also participated in several baptisms as the godmother of several inmates.
They shared parts of notes, cards and letters they have received from inmates over the years.
"My reason for writing is … to say thank you for being such caring and loving people. You and your wife show me how love can make people live a happy life, and how Christ works through people who believe," wrote one man.
Another wrote, "The prison system can’t change who you are. You must do that for yourself, and through programs like this one, it can be possible to make a change in each of our lives."
"I am in a six-month addiction program. I have a room all to myself where I can work on myself and pray and read," wrote another. "I am so blessed, I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for turning my will over to the care of God."
Walter confessed that there are times that they are tempted to skip a visit. "But, it’s very fulfilling work. They come out better and we come out better. When we come out, we’re walking on air," he said.
The couple said more lay Catholics should get involved in prison ministries. Again borrowing from the Bible, Walter said, "The laborers are few and the harvest is so ripe."
Printed with permission from the Catholic Transcript, newspaper for the Archdiocese of Hartford, Conn.
Information: Feast Day: August 8
Born: 1170, Calaruega, Province of Burgos, Kingdom of Castile (now modern-day Castile-Leon, Spain)
Died: August 6, 1221, Bologna, Province of Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Major Shrine: San Domenico, Bologna
Patron of: Astronomers; astronomy; Dominican Republic; falsely accused people; scientists
Founder of the Order of Preachers, commonly known as the Dominican Order; born at Calaroga, in Old Castile, c. 1170; died 6 August, 1221. His parents, Felix Guzman and Joanna of Aza, undoubtedly belonged to the nobility of Spain, though probably neither was connected with the reigning house of Castile, as some of the saint's biographers assert. Of Felix Guzman, personally, little is known, except that he was in every sense the worthy head of a family of saints. To nobility of blood Joanna of Aza added a nobility of soul which so enshrined her in the popular veneration that in 1828 she was solemnly beatified by Leo XII. The example of such parents was not without its effect upon their children. Not only Saint Dominic but also his brothers, Antonio and Manes, were distinguished for their extraordinary sanctity. Antonio, the eldest, became a secular priest and, having distributed his patrimony to the poor, entered a hospital where he spent his life minis ministering to the sick. Manes, following in the footsteps of Dominic, became a Friar Preacher, and was beatified by Gregory XVI.
The birth and infancy of the saint were attended by many marvels forecasting his heroic sanctity and great achievements in the cause of religion. From his seventh to his fourteenth year he pursued his elementary studies tinder the tutelage of his maternal uncle, the archpriest of Gumiel d'lzan, not far distant from Calaroga. In 1184 Saint Dominic entered the University of Palencia. Here he remained for ten years prosecuting his studies with such ardour and success that throughout the ephemeral existence of that institution he was held up to the admiration of its scholars as all that a student should be. Amid the frivolities and dissipations of a university city, the life of the future saint was characterized by seriousness of purpose and an austerity of manner which singled him out as one from whom great thin might be expected in the future. But more than one he proved that under this austere exterior he carried a heart as tender as a woman's. On one occasion he sold his books, annotated with his own hand, to relieve the starving poor of Palencia. His biographer and contemporary, Bartholomew of Trent, states that twice he tried to sell himself into slavery to obtain money for the liberation of those who were held in captivity by the Moors. These facts are worthy of mention in view of the cynical and saturnine character which some non-Catholic writers have endeavoured to foist upon one of the most charitable of men. Concerning the date of his ordination his biographers are silent; nor is there anything from which that date can be inferred with any degree of certainty. According to the deposition of Brother Stephen, Prior Provincial of Lombardy, given in the process of canonization, Dominic was still a student at Palencia when Don Martin de Bazan, the Bishop of Osma, called him to membership in the cathedral chapter for the purpose If assisting in its reform. The bishop realized the importance to his plan of reform of having constantly before his canons the example of one of Dominic's eminent holiness. Nor was he disappointed in the result. In recognition of the part he had taken in converting its members into canons regular, Dominic was appointed sub-prior of the reformed chapter. On the accession of Don Diego d'Azevedo to the Bishopric of Osma in 1201, Dominic became superior of the chapter with the title of prior. As a canon of Osma, he spent nine years of his life. hidden in God and rapt in contemplation, scarcely passing beyond the confines of the chapter house.
In 1203 Alfonso IX, King of Castile, deputed the Bishop of Osma to demand from the Lord of the Marches, presumably a Danish prince, the hand of his daughter on behalf of the king's son, Prince Ferdinand. For his companion on this embassy Don Diego chose Saint Dominic. Passing through Toulouse in the pursuit of their mission, they beheld with amazement and sorrow the work of spiritual ruin wrought by the Albigensian heresy. It was in the contemplation of this scene that Dominic first conceived the idea of founding an order for the purpose of combating heresy and spreading the light of the Gospel by preaching to the ends of the then known world. Their mission having ended successfully, Diego and Dominic were dispatched on a second embassy, accompanied by a splendid retinue, to escort the betrothed princess to Castile. This mission, however, was brought to a sudden close by the death of the young woman in question. The two ecclesiastics were now free to go where they would, and they set out for Rome, arriving there towards the end of 1204. The purpose of this was to enable Diego to resign his bishopric that he might devote himself to the conversion of unbelievers in distant lands. Innocent III, however, refused to approve this project, and instead sent the bishop and his companion to Languedoc to join forces with the Cistercians, to whom he had entrusted the crusade against the Albigenses The scene that confronted them on their arrival in Languedoc was by no means an encouraging one. The Cistercians, on account of their worldly manner of living, had made little or no headway against the Albigenses. They had entered upon their work with considerable pomp, attended by a brilliant retinue, and well provided with the comforts of life. To this display of worldliness the leaders of the heretics opposed a rigid asceticism which commanded the respect and admiration of their followers. Diego and Dominic quickly saw that the failure of the Cistercian apostolate was due to the monks' indulgent habits, and finally prevailed upon them to adopt a more austere manner of life. The result was at once apparent in a greatly increased number of converts. Theological disputations played a prominent part in the propaganda of the heretics. Dominic and his companion, therefore, lost no time in engaging their opponents in this kind of theological exposition. Whenever the opportunity offered, they accepted the gage of battle. The thorough training that the saint had received at Palencia now proved of inestimable value to him in his encounters with the heretics. Unable to refute his arguments or counteract the influence of his preaching, they visited their hatred upon him by means of repeated insults and threats of physical violence. With Prouille for his head-quarters, he laboured by turns in Fanjeaux, Montpellier, Servian, Beziers, and Carcassonne. Early in his apostolate around Prouille the saint realized the necessity of an institution that would protect the women of that country from the influence of the heretics. Many of them had already embraced Albigensianism and were its most active propagandists. These women erected convents, to which the children of the Catholic nobility were often sent—for want of something better—to receive an education, and, in effect, if not on purpose, to be tainted with the spirit of heresy. It was needful, too, that women converted from heresy should be safeguarded against the evil influence of their own homes. To supply these deficiencies, Saint Dominic, with the permission of Foulques, Bishop of Toulouse, established a convent at Prouille in 1206. To this community, and afterwards to that of Saint Sixtus, at Rome, he gave the rule and constitutions which have ever since guided the nuns of the Second Order of Saint Dominic.
The year 1208 opens a new epoch in the eventful life of the founder. On 15 January of that year Pierre de Castelnau, one of the Cistercian legates, was assassinated. This abominable crime precipitated the crusade under Simon de Montfort, which led to the temporary subjugation of the heretics. Saint Dominic participated in the stirring scenes that followed, but always on the side of mercy, wielding the arms of the spirit while others wrought death and desolation with the sword. Some historians assert that during the sack of Beziers, Dominic appeared in the streets of that city, cross in hand, interceding for the lives of the women and children, the aged and the infirm. This testimony, however, is based upon documents which Touron regards as certainly apocryphal. The testimony of the most reliable historians tends to prove that the saint was neither in the city nor in its vicinity when Beziers was sacked by the crusaders. We find him generally during this period following the Catholic army, reviving religion and reconciling heretics in the cities that had capitulated to, or had been taken by, the victorious de Montfort. It was probably 1 September, 1209, that Saint Dominic first came in contact with Simon de Montfort and formed with him that intimate friendship which was to last till the death of the brave crusader under the walls of Toulouse (25 June, 1218). We find him by the side of de Montfort at the siege of Lavaur in 1211, and again in 1212, at the capture of La Penne d'Ajen. In the latter part of 1212 he was at Pamiers labouring, at the invitation of de Montfort, for the restoration of religion and morality. Lastly, just before the battle of Muret. 12 September, 1213, the saint is again found in the council that preceded the battle. During the progress of the conflict, he knelt before the altar in the church of Saint-Jacques, praying for the triumph of the Catholic arms. So remarkable was the victory of the crusaders at Muret that Simon de Montfort regarded it as altogether miraculous, and piously attributed it to the prayers of Saint Dominic. In gratitude to God for this decisive victory, the crusader erected a chapel in the church of Saint-Jacques, which he dedicated, it is said, to Our Lady of the Rosary. It would appear, therefore, that the- devotion of the Rosary, which tradition says was revealed to Saint Dominic, had come into general use about this time. To this period, too, has been ascribed the foundation of the Inquisition by Saint Dominic, and his appointment as the first Inquisitor. As both these much controverted questions will receive special treatment elsewhere in this work, it will suffice for our )resent purpose to note that the Inquisition was in operation in 1198, or seven years before the saint took part in the apostolate in Languedoc, and while ie was still an obscure canon regular at Osma. If he was for a certain time identified with the operations of the Inquisition, it was only in the capacity of a theologian passing upon the orthodoxy of the accused. Whatever influence he may have had with the judges of that much maligned institution was always employed on the side of mercy and forbearance, as witness the classic case of Ponce Roger.
In the meantime, the saint's increasing reputation for heroic sanctity, apostolic zeal, and profound learning caused him to be much sought after as a candidate for various bishoprics. Three distinct efforts were made to miss him to the episcopate. In July, 1212, the chapter of Beziers chose him for their bishop. Again, the canons of Saint-Lizier wished him to succeed Garcias de l'Orte as Bishop of Comminges. Lastly, in 1215 an effort was made by Garcias de l'Orte himself, who had been transferred from—Comminges to Auch, to make him Bishop of Navarre. But Saint Dominic absolutely refused all episcopal honours, saying that he would rather take flight in the night, with nothing but his staff, than accept the episcopate. From Muret Dominic returned to Carcassonne, where he resumed his preaching with unqualified success. It was not until 1214 that he returned to Toulouse. In the meantime the influence of his preaching and the eminent holiness of his life had drawn around him a little band of devoted disciples eager to follow wherever he might lead. Saint Dominic had never for a moment forgotten his purpose, formed eleven years before, of founding a religious order to combat heresy and propagate religious truth. The time now seemed opportune for the realization of his plan. With the approval of Bishop Foulques of Toulouse, he began the organization of his little band of followers. That Dominic and his companions might possess a fixed source of revenue Foulques made him chaplain of Fanjeaux and in July, 1215, canonically established the community as a religious congregation of his diocese, whose mission was the propagation of true doctrine and good morals, and the extirpation of heresy. During this same year Pierre Seilan, a wealthy citizen of Toulouse, who had placed himself under the direction of Saint Dominic, put at their disposal his own commodious dwelling. In this way the first convent of the Order of Preachers was founded on 25 April, 1215. But they dwelt here only a year when Foulques established them in the church of Saint Romanus. Though the little community had proved amply the need of its mission and the efficiency of its service to the Church, it was far from satisfying the full purpose of its founder. It was at best but a diocesan congregation, and Saint Dominic had dreamed of a world-order that would carry its apostolate to the ends of the earth. But, unknown to the saint, events were shaping themselves for the realization of his hopes. In November, 1215, an ecumenical council was to meet at Rome "to deliberate on the improvement of morals, the extinction of heresy, and the strengthening of the faith". This was identically the mission Saint Dominic had determined on for his order. With the Bishop of Toulouse, he was present at the deliberations of this council. From the very first session it seemed that events conspired to bring his plans to a successful issue. The council bitterly arraigned the bishops for their neglect of preaching. In canon X they were directed to delegate capable men to preach the word of God to the people. Under these circumstances, it would reasonably appear that Dominic's request for confirmation of an order designed to carry out the mandates of the council would be joyfully granted. But while the council was anxious that these reforms should be put into effect as speedily as possible, it was at the same time opposed to the institution of any new religious orders, and had legislated to that effect in no uncertain terms. Moreover, preaching had always been looked upon as primarily a function of the episcopate. To bestow this office on an unknown and untried body of simple priests s seemed too original and too bold in its conception to appeal to the conservative prelates who influenced the deliberations of the council. When, therefore, his petition for the approbation of his infant institute was refused, it could not have been wholly unexpected by Saint Dominic.
Returning to Languedoc at the close of the council in December, 1215, the founder gathered about him his little band of followers and informed them of the wish of the council that there should be no new rules for religious orders. Thereupon they adopted the ancient rule of Saint Augustine, which, on account of its generality, would easily lend itself to any form they might wish to give it. This done, Saint Dominic again appeared before the pope in the month of August, 1216, and again solicited the confirmation of his order. This time he was received more favourably, and on 22 December, 1216, the Bull of confirmation was issued.
Saint Dominic spent the following Lent preaching in various churches in Rome, and before the pope and the papal court. It was at this time that he received the office and title of Master of the Sacred Palace, or Pope's Theologian, as it is more commonly called. This office has been held uninterruptedly by members of the order from the founder's time to the present day. On 15 August, 1217, he gathered the brethren about him at Prouille to deliberate on the affairs of the order. He had determined upon the heroic plan of dispersing his little band of seventeen unformed followers over all Europe. The result proved the wisdom of an act which, to the eye of human prudence at least, seemed little short of suicidal. To facilitate the spread of the order, Honorius III, on 11 Feb., 1218, addressed a Bull to all archbishops, bishops, abbots, and priors, requesting their favour on behalf of the Order of Preachers. By another Bull, dated 3 Dec., 1218, Honorius III bestowed upon the order the church of Saint Sixtus in Rome. Here, amid the tombs of the Appian Way, was founded the first monastery of the order in Rome. Shortly after taking possession of Saint Sixtus, at the invitation of Honorius, Saint Dominic begin the somewhat difficult task of restoring the pristine observance of religious discipline among the various Roman communities of women. In a comparatively short time the work was accomplished, to the great satisfaction of the pope. His own career at the University of Palencia, and the practical use to which he had put it in his encounters with the Albigenses, as well as his keen appreciation of the needs of the time, convinced the saint that to ensure the highest efficiency of the work of the apostolate, his followers should be afforded the best educational advantages obtainable. It was for this reason that on the dispersal of the brethren at Prouille he dispatched Matthew of France and two companions to Paris. A foundation was made in the vicinity of the university, and the friars took possession in October, 1217. Matthew of France was appointed superior, and Michael de Fabra was placed in charge of the studies with the title of Lecturer. On 6 August of the following year, Jean de Barastre, dean of Saint-Quentin and professor of theology, bestowed on the community the hospice of Saint-Jaques, which he had built for his own use. Having effected a foundation at the University of Paris, Saint Dominic next determined upon a settlement at the University of Bologna. Bertrand of Garrigua, who had been summoned from Paris, and John of Navarre, set out from Rome, with letters from Pope Honorius, to make the desired foundation. On their arrival at Bologna, the church of Santa Maria della Mascarella was placed at their disposal. So rapidly did the Roman community of Saint Sixtus grow that the need of more commodious quarters soon became urgent. Honorius, who seemed to delight in supplying every need of the order and furthering its interests to the utmost of his power, met the emergency by bestowing on Saint Dominic the basilica of Santa Sabina.
Towards the end of 1218, having appointed Reginald of Orleans his vicar in Italy, the saint, accompanied by several of his brethren, set out for Spain. Bologna, Prouille, Toulouse, and Fanjeaux were visited on the way. From Prouille two of the brethren were sent to establish a convent at Lyons. Segovia was reached just before Christmas. In February of the following year he founded the first monastery of the order in Spain. Turning southward, he established a convent for women at Madrid, similar to the one at Prouille. It is quite probable that on this journey he personally presided over the erection of a convent in connexion with his alma mater, the University of Palencia. At the invitation of the Bishop of Barcelona, a house of the order was established in that city. Again bending his steps towards Rome he recrossed the Pyrenees and visited the foundations at Toulouse and Paris. During his stay in the latter place he caused houses to be erected at Limoges, Metz, Reims, Poitiers, and Orleans, which in a short time became centres of Dominican activity. From Paris he directed his course towards Italy, arriving in Bologna in July, 1219. Here he devoted several months to the religious formation of the brethren he found awaiting him, and then, as at Prouille, dispersed them over Italy. Among the foundations made at this time were those at Bergamo, Asti, Verona, Florence, Brescia, and Faenza. From Bologna he went to Viterbo. His arrival at the papal court was the signal for the showering of new favours on the order. Notable among these marks of esteem were many complimentary letters addressed by Honorius to all those who had assisted the Fathers in their vinous foundations. In March of this same year Honorius, through his representatives, bestowed upon the order the church of San Eustorgio in Milan. At the same time a foundation at Viterbo was authorized. On his return to Rome, towards the end of 1219, Dominic sent out letters to all the convents announcing the first general chapter of the order, to be held at Bologna on the feast of the following Pentecost. Shortly before, Honorius III, by a special Brief, had conferred upon the founder the title of Master General, which till then he had held only by tacit consent. At the very first session of the chapter in the following spring the saint startled his brethren by offering his resignation as master general. It is needless to say the resignation was not accepted and the founder remained at the head of the institute till the end of his life.
Soon after the close of the chapter of Bologna, Honorius III addressed letters to the abbeys and priories of San Vittorio, Sillia, Mansu, Floria, Vallombrosa, and Aquila, ordering that several of their religious be deputed to begin, under the leadership of Saint Dominic, a preaching crusade in Lombardy, where heresy had developed alarming proportions. For some reason or other the plans of the pope were never realized. The promised support failing, Dominic, with a little band of his own brethren, threw himself into the field, and, as the event proved, spent himself in an effort to bring back the heretics to their allegiance to the Church. It is said that 100,000 unbelievers were converted by the preaching and the miracles of the saint. According to Lacordaire and others, it was during his preaching in Lombardy that the saint instituted the Militia of Jesus Christ, or the third order, as it is commonly called, consisting of men and women living in the world, to protect the rights and property of the Church. Towards the end of 1221 Saint Dominic returned to Rome for the sixth and last time. Here he received many new and valuable concessions for the order. In January, February, and March of 1221 three consecutive Bulls were issued commending the order to all the prelates of the Church-. The thirtieth of May, 1221, found him again at Bologna presiding over the second general chapter of the order. At the close of the chapter he set out for Venice to visit Cardinal Ugolino, to whom he was especially indebted for many substantial acts of kindness. He had scarcely returned to Bologna when a fatal illness attacked him. He died after three weeks of sickness, the many trials of which he bore with heroic patience. In a Bull dated at Spoleto, 13 July, 1234, Gregory IX made his cult obligatory throughout the Church.The life of St. Dominic was one of tireless effort in the, service of God. While he journeyed from place to place he prayed and preached almost uninterruptedly.—His penances were of such a nature as to cause the brethren, who accidentally discovered them. to fear the effect upon his life. While his charity was boundless he never permitted it to interfere with the stern sense of duty that guided every action of his life. If he abominated heresy and laboured untiringly for its extirpation it was because he loved truth and loved the souls of those among whom he laboured. He never failed to distinguish between sin and the sinner. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, if this athlete of Christ, who had conquered himself before attempting the reformation of others, was more than once chosen to show forth the power of God. The failure of the fire at Fanjeaux to consume the dissertation he had employed against the heretics, and which was thrice thrown into the flames; the raising to life of Napoleone Orsini; the appearance of the annals in the refectory of Saint Sixtus in response to his prayers, are but a few of the supernatural happenings by which God was pleased to attest the eminent holiness of His servant. We are not surprised, therefore, that, after signing the Bull of canonization on 13 July, 1234, Gregory IX declared that he no more doubted the saintliness of Saint Dominic than he did that of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
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Luke 12: 32 - 48
32 "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.
34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
35 "Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning,
36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks.
37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them.
38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants!
39 But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into.
40 You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour."
41 Peter said, "Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?"
42 And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time?
43 Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing.
44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.
45 But if that servant says to himself, `My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk,
46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful.
47 And that servant who knew his master's will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating.
48 But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.