Friday, September 24, 2010


TODAY'S GOSPEL: SEPT. 24: Luke 9: 18 - 22 -


HOLY FATHER RECALLS HIS FIRST DAYS AT SCHOOL VATICAN CITY, 24 SEP 2010 (VIS REPORT) - Yesterday evening in the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, Benedict XVI received a group of pupils, parents and teachers from the local Paul VI Pontifical School, which is run by the "Maestre Pie Filippini". "Dear children", said the Pope in his remarks, "you go to school and you learn naturally, and I am recalling that seventy-seven years have now passed since I began school. I lived in a small village of three hundred inhabitants, ... yet we learned the essential things. Most importantly, we learned to read and write. I think it is a great thing to be able to read and write, because in this way we can know other people's ideas, read newspapers and books. We can also know what was written two thousand or more years ago; we can know the spiritual continents of the world and communicate with one another. Above all there is one extraordinary thing: God wrote a book, He spoke to us human beings, finding people to write the book containing the Word of God. Reading that book, we can read what God says to us". The Holy Father went on: "At school you learn everything you need for life. You also learn to know God, to know Jesus and thus you learn how to live well. At school you make a lot of friends and this is a beautiful thing because in this way you form one big family, but among our best friends, the first we meet and know should be Jesus Who is a friend to everyone and truly shows us the path of life"..../ VIS 20100924 (280)

PROGRAMME OF TRIP TO SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, BARCELONA VATICAN CITY, 24 SEP 2010 (VIS) - Given below is the programme of Benedict XVI's forthcoming apostolic trip to Spain, which is due to take him to the cities of Santiago de Compostela and Barcelona from 6 to 7 November. The Pope will depart from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 8.30 a.m. on Saturday 6 November, arriving in Santiago de Compostela at 11.30 a.m. where he will pronounce an address and meet the Prince and Princess of Asturias. At 1 p.m. he will visit the cathedral of Santiago and greet the faithful there. At 1.40 p.m. he is due to have lunch in the archbishopric with Spanish cardinals and members of the executive committee of the Spanish Episcopal Conference. At 4.30 p.m. he will celebrate Mass and pronounce a homily for the Compostela Holy Year in the city's Plaza de Obradoiro. The Holy Father will depart by plane from Santiago de Compostela at 9.15 p.m. and fly to Barcelona. At 9.30 a.m. on Sunday 7 November, Pope Benedict will have a private meeting with the King and Queen of Spain in the Museum Hall of Barcelona's church of the "Sagrada Familia". At 10 a.m. the Holy Father will preside at Mass, during which he will consecrate the church of the "Sagrada Familia" and the altar. Following the Eucharistic celebration he will exit the church into the adjoining square of the same name to pray the Angelus and pronounce some words to faithful gathered there. Following lunch with cardinals and bishops in the archbishopric of Barcelona, at 5.15 p.m. the Pope will visit the "Obra Benefico-Social Nen Deu", then travel directly to Barcelona airport where the departure ceremony will take place. The Pope's flight is due to take off at 7.15 p.m. and is scheduled to land at Ciampino airport in Rome at 8.55 p.m.PV-SPAIN/ VIS 20100924 (320)

LETTER OF THE POPE FOR THE WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES 2012 VATICAN CITY, 24 SEP 2010 (VIS) - At midday today in the Holy See Press Office Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, presented Benedict XVI's Letter for the Seventh World Meeting of Families, which is due to be held in the Italian city of Milan from 30 May to 2 June 2012, on the theme: "The Family: Work and Rest". Also participating in today's press conference were Bishop Jean Lafitte, Msgr. Carlos Simon Vazquez and Fr. Gianfranco Grieco O.F.M. Conv., respectively secretary, under secretary and bureau chief of the pontifical council; Bishop Erminio De Scalzi, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Milan and the archbishop's delegate for the organisation of the meeting, and Fr. Davide Milani, head of social communications for the archdiocese of Milan. "Work and rest", writes the Pope in his Letter, "are intimately associated with the life of families. They influence the choices the family makes, the relationship between the spouses and among parents and children, and they affect the dealings the family has with society and with the Church". The Holy Father further highlights how "In our own time, unfortunately, the organisation of work, which is planned and implemented as a function of market competition and maximising profit, and the concept of rest as a time for evasion and consumption, contribute to the break-up of families and communities, and to the spread of an individualistic lifestyle. It is therefore necessary to reflect and commit ourselves to reconciling the demands and requirements of work with those of the family, and to recover the true significance of rest, especially on Sundays, the weekly Easter, the day of the Lord and the day of man, the day of the family, of the community and of solidarity. "The forthcoming World Meeting of Families", he adds, "is a propitious occasion to re-examine work and rest in the perspective of families that are united and open to life, well inserted into society and the Church, attentive to the quality of their relationships as well as to the economy of the family nucleus itself". The Pope goes on to express the hope that "during the course of 2011 - thirtieth anniversary of the Apostolic Exhortation 'Familiaris consortio', the 'Magna Charta' of family pastoral care - valid initiatives may begin at the parish, diocesan and national level with the aim of identifying experiences of work and rest in their most authentic and positive aspects, with particular reference to their influence on the real lives of families". At the end of his Letter the Holy Father explains how the Seventh World Meeting of Families, "like earlier such meetings, will last five days culminating on Saturday evening with a 'Feast of Witness' and on Sunday morning with solemn Mass. During these two celebrations, at which I shall preside, we will come together as 'a family of families'". Commenting on the theme of the letter, Cardinal Antonelli mentioned the problems affecting the family which, he said, "is becoming privatised and reduced to a place of individual affections and gratification. It does not receive adequate cultural, juridical, economic or political support and suffers the negative conditioning of complex centrifugal dynamics, among which by no means the least important are the organisation of work and the degeneration of rest into 'free time'". In this context, the cardinal highlighted how the theme of the Milan meeting "could become an important contribution to the defence and promotion of authentic human values in today's world, beginning with a new style of family life". "Within the family, it is important to encourage the redistribution of domestic tasks, and a lifestyle inspired by sobriety, concern for personal relationships, openness towards the ecclesial community and the needs of others. Finally", Cardinal Antonelli concluded, "feast days must be celebrated in such a way as to illuminate the significance of life and of work itself, strengthening the cohesion of the family and its insertion into the wider community, reviving the relationship with Christ, Lord and Saviour Who accompanies us on our daily journey". For his part, Bishop Erminio De Scalzi observed that "it would be significant if we were able to welcome poor families from the South of the world to Milan. I am thinking," he said, "of people who live in counties where it is difficult to make their voice heard. It is important that the representatives of these families should have the chance to bring their testimony of life, and tell us how they understand work and rest as regards the family nucleus".OP/ VIS 20100924 (770)

PERMANENT WORKING COMMISSION HOLY SEE - ISRAEL VATICAN CITY, 24 SEP 2010 (VIS) - The Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel met on 21 September to continue its work on an Agreement pursuant to article 10 para. 2 of the 1993 Fundamental Agreement between the two Parties. According to a joint communique, "the talks were held in a cordial atmosphere and produced progress towards the desired agreement"..../ VIS 20100924 (80)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 24 SEP 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences: - Ten prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit: - Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta O. Cist. of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Assis Lopes, Antonio Augusto Dias Duarte, Edson de Castro Homem and Dimas Lara Barbosa, and by Bishop Karl Josef Romer. - Bishop Joao Maria Messi O.S.M. of Barra do Pirai - Volta Redonda. - Bishop Jose Francisco Rezende Dias of Duque de Caixas. - Bishop Jose Ubiratan Lopes O.F.M. Cap. of Itaguai. - Bishop Luciano Bergamin C.R.L. of Nova Iguacu. - Ivan Guillermo Rincon Urdaneta, ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on his farewell visit.AL:AP/ VIS 20100924 (130)
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 24 SEP 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father: - Appointed Bishop Daniel Fernandez Torres, auxiliary of San Juan de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, as bishop of Arecibo (area 2,157, population 615.600, Catholics 379,000, priests 87, permanent deacons 2, religious 213), Puerto Rico. He succeeds Bishop Inaki Mallona Txertudi C.P., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit. - Appointed Bishop Douglas Crosby O.M.I. of Corner Brook and Labrador, Canada, as bishop of Hamilton (area 16,824, population 1,982,908, Catholics 562,000, priests 224, permanent deacons 24, religious 371), Canada. He succeeds Bishop Anthony F. Tonnos, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit
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IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT: Fr Alban Quinn, O.Carm One of the best-known and much-loved friars of the Carmelite Order, Fr Alban Quinn, O.Carm., died on 15 September 2010 at the age of 86.Alban - whose nickname was 'Tiny' because of his great height - was a member of the American Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary (sometimes known as the PCM or Chicago Province).In 1971 Alban was appointed Apostolic Administrator (effectively the role of bishop) of Sicuani in the Latin American nation of Peru. Sicuani is a region in the high Andes mountain range and an administrative area of the Church known as an Apostolic Prelature, entrusted to the pastoral care of the Carmelite Order by the Holy See.As Apostolic Administrator until 1999, Alban led the Carmelite Family in working amongst some of the financially poorest people in the world. His dedication to the poor in the rural areas of the Andes was admired by local people and the Carmelite Family around the world but won him no small opposition from conservative groups within the Church.When news of his death reached Britain, Julian Filochowski, who as Director of CAFOD had worked closely with Tiny in many projects on behalf of and with the poor, spoke of him as a beacon of hope.May this great Carmelite and pastor of God's people rest in peace
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LSN REPORT- Four cutting-edge 4D ultrasound devices will soon help Southern California mothers at risk for abortion see the face of their unborn baby, thanks to the team effort of the Knights of Columbus, the local Catholic diocese, and a pregnancy resource center organization.On Thursday, September 30 at 4:30 the Knights of Columbus, the Orange County Catholic Diocese and Birth Choice Health Clinics will celebrate the installation of the fourth new 4D ultrasound machine and the launch of the new Birth Choice Mobile Clinic. Kathleen Eaton, the founder and CEO of Birth Choice, Bishop Cirilo from the Orange County Diocese, and dignitaries from the Knights of Columbus will make brief presentations and participate in this historic ribbon cutting ceremony.“In the past, we have used the 2D ultrasounds to show our clients black and white images of their babies," said Jennifer Wallace, Birth Choice Clinic Director, in a statement this week. "With the introduction of the 4D, we will be able to show these young women a life-like image of their child. The technological advancements of the 4D are so dramatic that the images obtained show an uncanny resemblance to the child after they are born."Wallace said that the first 4D ultrasound was delivered to the Long Beach Birth Choice Clinic in June, when the group had just started fundraising to equip all six medical clinics with the new technology. "The Knights of Columbus answered the call and have generously gifted us with the funds necessary to bring Birth Choice Health Clinics to that next level," she said.Four Knights of Columbus parish councils working together have raised more than $200,000 and purchased four new 4D ultrasound machines in support of Birth Choice Health Clinics."We’re more than half way to acquiring the fifth unit and don’t intend to stop as long as Birth Choice continues opening clinics," said Hank Evers, the Knights’ project chairman.Half of the funds were raised locally by the parish councils at St. Edward the Confessor, Our Lady of Fatima, Mission Basilica and St. Timothy parishes. “For every dollar we raise at the local community level, our Supreme or headquarter council in New Haven, Connecticut will match it evenly," said Evers.Birth Choice will use these ultrasound machines in their five licensed medical clinics and mobile clinic to enhance their level of medical services and counseling.The Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative serves as a concrete way for Knights to support the health and wellness of pregnant mothers and their babies. Launched Jan. 22, 2009, the national project has raised more than $1.8 million by local and state councils using the matching funds to purchase ultrasound equipment.Starting as a small call-in pregnancy resource center in 1981, Birth Choice has grown into six community health clinics serving thousands of young women and men annually in Southern California, providing medical services, education and support to individuals in need of free services. Since becoming fully licensed medical clinics in 2007, Birth Choice has logged over 37,000 client visits.
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Agenzia Fides REPORT – The situation eight years since the war's end, the spread of beliefs like witchcraft, the abyss between rich and poor, the need to re-evangelize part of the country after 20 years of Marxism, are all among the topics addressed by Bishop Antonio Jaca of Caxito in this interview with Agenzia Fides. Your Excellency, can you present us your diocese and, more specifically, the challenges in evangelization?Caxito is a diocese founded by the division of the Archdiocese of Luanda, from which arose two new dioceses. Caxito has just under one million inhabitants, of which 400,000 are Catholic. There are different sects, mainly of Congolese origin, and some are Muslims, but most of the inhabitants are Christians, particularly Catholics.Angola, in 1991, celebrated 500 years of evangelization. We are, therefore, not a new community and we have a very long history of evangelization behind us. We have suffered over 20 years of Marxism which has left extensive damage, especially among the younger generations. We have begun to re-evangelize the country. It is not an easy task because we have seen that although the churches are full on Sundays, the population is not sufficiently Christianized. The faith is not strong enough to combat threats such as the sects and the old beliefs like witchcraft. We need to focus on formation, so as to ensure that the newly baptized are well-informed, emphasizing the biblical formation of our people. For these tasks, we rely on catechists. The challenge is in training them to be of valuable assistance to the priests.The Holy Father, during his visit to Angola, warned the faithful against witchcraft. Can you tell us a little about this phenomenon?Beliefs related to witchcraft are a very serious problem, especially because there are children and elderly people accused of being witches. It is a problem that worries the Church, but the state is also beginning to take note of the danger posed by these beliefs. From the Church's perspective, someone who believes in witchcraft is a person who has not been sufficiently evangelized, whose faith is not strong enough to make Christ the only answer in his life. We try to form these people, telling them that evil exists, the devil is at work, but that Christ has overcome evil with the Resurrection. Thus, faith tells us that there is nothing more powerful than Jesus. So, there is no reason to believe in evil spirits that can make us evil, because faith is our greatest security against evil. These beliefs are rooted in popular culture. We must work especially with the new generations to overcome these superstitions, and increase their faith. Because the stronger their faith, the more they will be able to overcome these kinds of beliefs.Is witchcraft a symptom of the spread of a materialistic culture in Angola?No, it has more to do with poverty, misery, the difficulties of life, and local culture. Bantu culture wants to have answers for everything: if someone dies you need to know why he died ... This means understanding how he died, who killed him. This comes in addition to the poverty, inadequate sanitation, malnutrition, and the still high infant mortality. People facing these difficulties look for a way out through witchcraft or participating in sects that reinforce such beliefs.Did the civil war that ended in 2002 have certain consequences in your diocese?Most of my diocese has been affected by the war. Populations originating from southern Angola have come into the area. There is the question of trying to get them to return to their area of origin, but it is not easy, as the war has caused very serious injuries. It is true that as Angolan people, we have chosen to forget the past, but the wounds have not yet been healed and people find it hard to forgive. Therefore, we must continue the work of reconciliation. We created the Commission for Justice, Peace, and Reconciliation that works to help people not only forget, but forgive.The war has caused very serious social harm, but it is worsened by the fact that there is insufficient political attention to these problems. We must invest in education and a health care system. During my tour of the diocese, I saw missions that had been destroyed and that are waiting to be rebuilt. I noticed that the roads are inadequate and I met displaced people without papers, who have trouble registering their children.Has there been progress in the redistribution of Angolan oil revenues?There has been progress in economic terms. In particular, major roads linking the major cities have been rebuilt. Hospitals and schools have been built, foreign investment has increased in the country. The problem is that these economic gains are difficult to translate into an improvement in people's lives. There is a lot of money moving around in the country, but it is not distributed. The gap between rich and poor is growing and this can lead to social tensions. Greater efforts are needed to improve people's lives. As part of the Bishops' Commission for Justice and Peace, I participate in a program of supervision of the state budget, to see how public money is spent. There is a growing awareness in the country of the need to hold politicians accountable for their responsibilities towards the welfare of the population.
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Cath News report; The West Australian Greens MP Robin Chapple, whose voluntary euthanasia bill was voted down, has vowed to continue pushing for the legislation, said an AAP report in the Sydney Morning Herald.The bill would have allowed people over the age of 21 with a terminal illness and who were sound of mind to ask a doctor to end their life. It was defeated 24 votes to 11 after two days of debate."I would say in reality that is probably fairly reflective of the community," Premier Colin Barnett told Fairfax Radio on Thursday.Mr Chapple said he was "disappointed" and would reintroduce the bill if he serves another term in parliament.At the Federal level, Australian Greens leader Bob Brown says restoring the rights of territory governments to introduce euthanasia is his top priority, said a separate AAP report, and Ms Gillard has promised Labor MPs a conscience vote.Asked yetserday for her own view on the bill, she said she would reserve that until she had seen the private member's bill."I'm not going to give an indication about my own personal decision in relation to that bill until I see it," she told reporters in Canberra.
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UCAN report: Catholics are seeking a total abolishing of the death penalty amid reforms made by the Vietnamese government proposing a more “humane” execution method.The Criminal Sentence Enforcement Bill is to replace firing squads with lethal injections, with lawmakers saying they consider this a more humane method of execution. The bill approved by the National Assembly is to take effect on July 1, 2011.Lawmakers said poisonous injections are less painful for people being executed and keep their bodies intact. It also costs less and reduces psychological pressure on the executors.Although the local Church has not officially expressed its views on the matter, some Catholics told that the death penalty is atrocious and should be abolished.“The lethal injection method also kills,” said Father Pierre Phan Khac Tu, pastor of the Vietnamese Martyrs Church in Ho Chi Minh City. Changing one form of execution with another doesn’t change the “inhumanity of the punishment,” he noted.Father Tu added that a caring society should give prisoners opportunities to return to live a good life.A Catholic doctor said life has to be protected and respected since it is God’s gift. “People are made in the image of God so we are not allowed to end life just like we would a vegetable,” she remarked.She said the local Church should protect condemned prisoners through pro-life activities.Death penalty statistics are not released by the government. However, the country’s courts handed down 59 death sentences in 2008 but only 19 were carried out, according to Amnesty International. Most death sentences are carried out in culpable homicide and organized drug trafficking cases.Last year, the National Assembly removed rape and several other offences from the list of crimes punishable by death.
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SPECIAL TO JESUSCARITASEST.ORG:So, it turns out that today (Wednesday, September 22, 2010) I’m back at St. Augustine’s Seminary in Scarborough, and just had a year-group talk (for all the guys in 3rd Theology who just returned from their pastoral internship year). This talk was great! It was given to us by Bishop Attila Mikloshazy on preparing ourselves for ordination (as our year group is ‘scheduled’ for ordination to the diaconate in 2011). Of course we have been preparing ourselves for ordination since we entered seminary (5 years ago!), but at an ever increasing urgency (for lack of a better word). Anyways, this talk tonight was great (as I said above). Bishop Attila made many great points, some being: we need to pray and grow deeper in love with Jesus every day, we need to approach this vocation with absolute fear, AND with absolute trust. Fear, because of the gravity of this position (priesthood), and trust, because if Christ is calling us to this vocation He will give us the grace necessary. After all, it’s His priesthood, His Church, Him calling. We need to discern properly because this is a huge, serious commitment. We are promising our lives to serving Christ. We also will likely always ask ‘why?’ because it is a mystery why Christ would choose us (me) to serve Him in this way. I am inadequate. Then I have to trust. God knows me, He knows my past and present sinfulness, if He is calling me, what can I say? “Lord, I am a sinful man”, yet still He says, “come follow Me”!Ok, so that’s obviously not where my vocation story starts, but where it happens to be today. So, going back to the beginning…I always say, the first time I thought of the priesthood, I think I was about 7 years old. I was at Mass with my family, and the priest was sprinkling us with holy water, and I didn’t get wet! And I was so mad! I said to myself, “if I was a priest I would soak everyone!” Well, obviously some one was listening….(but this is an example of how great God is! That He works through anything and everything to draw us into love with Him. He used my sins of pride and criticizing others to help me see what He is asking of me). So, this thought would come and go, I would watch the priests at Mass and picture myself as one of them, thinking, “could I do that? what would I say? what would I do differently?” And I say this questioning in my mind was kind of like Newton’s 3rd law of motion: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. As God would pull my heart towards Himself and my mind to thinking of the priesthood, I would go with it for a while, and then after some time push it away and think of anything else. And then after some time I would think of the priesthood feeling a stronger call towards it, and then push it away with stronger feelings towards marriage (usually after meeting a new girl in class, new infatuation). My family had always practiced the faith. After being born in Ajax and living there 4 years, we grew up in Barrie (rather, just outside in Minesing). We always went to Sunday Mass, and some times to weekly Mass, going to Confession monthly or so. We usually participated quite actively in the parish, having the priests over for dinner, serving as altar boys, helping with coffee and muffins, and the like. So, growing up in this environment it was not strange to think about the priesthood, as today it is, if it is even thought about at all. My grandfather (mother’s father) was a deacon, and our family has 4 boys, so it was kind of assumed that at least one of us would become a priest. Anyways, in 1998 (my parents who are both retired teachers) pulled all of us (5 children) out of school, and we began to ‘home-school’. Right at the beginning of the New Year (1999) my dad decided that we should take a trip as a family. So he said, “pack whatever you want, we’re going to drive. We don’t know where we’re going, we’re just going to let God guide us’. We ended up driving through the States, down to Alabama, seeing Mother Angelica’s convent, meeting many people along the way. There we turned West and headed out to Texas. In Corpus Christi TX, we went to Mass at the basilica. After Mass my parents would always talk to people and us kids would go back to the car and wait (impatiently) for them. Finally they ended up coming to the van, with a priest. The priest was young, and ‘cool’. He invited us to come check out his seminary. This was the first time I had been to a seminary, let alone heard of one. We ended up staying there for 2 weeks and met amazing priests, nuns, and seminarians. I was now 13 years old and still going back and forth (with ever increasing momentum) in my mind, heart and soul, between the priesthood and marriage. While in Corpus Christi, we attended a “youth conference” (all that clapping and singing praise and worship which drives me mad). However, one night they had Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and priests available for Confession. I went to Confession and made a good confession. I realized that all this time that I thought I was living the faith, being a good Catholic, I was pretty much the opposite. This was huge. This is conversion. From death to life. From blindness to sight. From separation from God to union/love with Him. I began to realize that all this time I had been seeking my will and not His. I was seeking what I thought would make me happy (a nice wife, a big house, a fast car), and not trusting Him who knows what will make me happy. I also read a booklet at this time called What’s Life All About which explained to me the purpose of life – Happiness. And so I began to pursue happiness with vigour, but still my idea of happiness. I would ask God what He wanted me to do, without really listening. I would say, “God lead me wherever you want, and help me to hook up with this girl”, “God, show me your will, and help me to marry this girl”. And now since I had not only given God permission to guide me but asked Him to He called me continually with ever greater intensity to the priesthood. Yet again, somehow, I would always push Him away and seek marriage. This back and forth reached its culmination when I met a girl that I thought was perfect for me – I wanted to marry her, not just marry anyone, or marry to avoid priesthood, but I wanted to marry her, and if not her, then fine, I would become a priest. I think I had finally realized that God was calling me to the priesthood and was desperately trying to find a way to avoid it, and then end of my running happened to coincide with meeting “the girl of my dreams” (I think a mean joke on God’s part, well, maybe not. Maybe it was to help me discern right in the beginning if I was really called to this). So, things began to move quickly at this point (around 2003). My family moved to Kirkfield, in the Diocese of Peterborough for one summer. Somehow the vocation director said he heard I was thinking about the priesthood. I don’t know how because I didn’t tell him. He ended up asking me if I was serious, and serious enough to sign up for seminary, which I was and did. So, I entered St. Philip’s Seminary (The Oratory) in the West end of Toronto (Dufferin and King) and studied 2 years of Philosophy there. Then I entered St. Augustine’s Seminary, where I am presently, to study Theology. The formation program here is 5 years: 2 years of Theology, 1 year of Pastoral Internship in a parish, and then 2 more years of Theology. The time has flown by since I entered St. Philip’s and I am now in my 3rd year of Theology, ‘scheduled’ to be ordained to the Diaconate this coming May. Looking back, I don’t think I’ve doubted that I am being called to the priesthood, but that hasn’t made it always easy to stay here. There are always temptations to leave. Always young women who are looking for a young practicing Catholic man. The studies are quite difficult. And more than academics, the program here is called formation because we are meant to be formed into an alter Christus (another Christ). That is difficult. That requires serious work (seriously letting the Holy Spirit work in our lives). And so, hearing the talk from Bishop Attila tonight was great. It was inspiring. Frightening. And I think I’ve noticed this shift in my discernment: from being relieved and happy to enter the seminary to feeling scared of the greatness of this call and wonderment as to why God would call a sinner like me. So, that’s pretty much it. I still have to pray and discern. Please pray for me. God bless you.I suppose I’ve missed large parts of my story because I didn’t expect to write the whole thing in one shot, as I just have tonight. So, if you have any questions, please ask me.other thoughts:I've seen many guys leave the seminary, and they've said it has been a great part of their life. They've learned much, and it has made them better men. I think all guys should enter the seminary and discern from inside. If God is calling you to the priesthood, you should put yourself in a position where it is easier to hear Him. If God's not calling you to the priesthood, He'll let you know.I believe that all priests should feel an attraction to marry (want to get married) because that's only natural. The priesthood is a supernatural calling, which I believe is meant to be lived celibately. Thus, if one feels drawn to marriage, that is not a sign that he is not called to the priesthood. I'm drawn to marriage every day, especially when I see a potential spouse, but if God is calling me to be a priest, He will give me the grace to live a celibate life.In my discernment, I believe I'm where I'm supposed to be at this moment. God could call me to leave the seminary tomorrow, and that would be fine. Whatever His will is, that is what is best for me. I just have to learn to listen to Him.Some helps for discernment for young men:Pray, hope and don’t worry. Ask God what He wants of you (He wants what will make you most happy).Spend time with God in Adoration. Talk to your Mother (Mary). Pray the Rosary. Talk to people (parents, siblings, friends, priests, seminarians) – vocations are not discovered in a vacuum but in community. Read articles on discernment from good Catholic websites/publishers.Read What’s Life All About (4 Levels of Happiness):
By Seminarian: Nic Carvalho
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St. Pacific of San SeverinoMIRACLE WORKERFeast: September 24Information:Feast Day:September 24Born:1 March 1653 at San SeverinoDied:24 September 1721 at San SeverinoCanonized:26 May 1839 by Pope Gregory IXBorn at San Severino, in the March of Ancona, 1 March, 1653; died there 24 September, 1721; the son of Antonio M. Divini and Mariangela Bruni. His parents died soon after his confirmation when three years old; he suffered many hardships until in December, 1670, he took the Franciscan habit in the Order of the Reformati, at Forano, in the March of Ancona, and was ordained on 4 June, 1678, subsequently becoming Lector or Professor of Philosophy (1680-83) for the younger members of the order, after which, for five or six years, he laboured as a missionary among the people of the surrounding country. He then suffered lameness, deafness, and blindness for nearly twenty-nine years. Unable to givemissions, he cultivated more the contemplative life. He bore his ills with angelic patience, worked several miracles, and was favoured by God with ecstasies. Though a constant sufferer, he held the post of guardian in the monastery of Maria delle Grazie in San Severino (1692-3), where he died. His cause for beatification was begun in 1740; he was beatified by Pius VI, 4 August, 1786, and solemnly canonized by Gregory XVI, 26 May, 1839. His feast is celebrated on 24 September. SOURCE
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: SEPT. 24: Luke 9: 18 - 22
Luke 9: 18 - 2218Now it happened that as he was praying alone the disciples were with him; and he asked them, "Who do the people say that I am?"19And they answered, "John the Baptist; but others say, Eli'jah; and others, that one of the old prophets has risen."20And he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered, "The Christ of God."21But he charged and commanded them to tell this to no one,22saying, "The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised."
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