Sunday, October 29, 2006

Feast of the Divine Master

Today the Pauline Family celebrates a special feast we call the feast of Jesus, the Divine Master. Fr Alberione stressed this aspect of Jesus, based on his own description of himself as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

This morning for Mass we went to the Church of the Divine Master in Rome, which is run by the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master, our sister congregation. They had a beautiful liturgy.

The homily was in Italian so I didn't get that much of it but the main thought that stuck was Christ lives in me. He is always with us and lives in our souls.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Meeting update

Thanks for all the wishes for safe travels! We arrived safely in Rome after just barely making the connecting flight in Amsterdam. Half of our baggage didn't make the connection, but the airline delivered it later.

The meeting is an international meeting of the treasurers of the various provinces and delegations of the Daughters of St. Paul. It's only the second time in our history that we've had such a meeting, and the purpose is to help establish some general guidelines for administration and help the treasurers in their work.

This morning a Barnabite priest, Fr Franco Ciccimarra, spoke on what the Church teaches about the use of temporal goods. He spoke about how religious congregations have to give a real witness of poverty and live by the Church's social teaching. This has many applications in the work we do, our relations with employees, etc.

The meeting is being held at Ariccia, where our Founder, Bl. James, established a retreat house. It's a beautiful location on Lake Albano. You can see Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer residence, in the distance on the other side of the large lake.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Off to Rome

On Oct. 17 I'll be leaving for a trip to Rome and will return on Nov. 2. I'm going to attend an international meeting for the sisters involved in administration. It should be an interesting experience.
I don't know if I'll be able to get out much to see some of the churches, but I'll pray for all those who visit my blog while I'm there.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The heart of the Cure' of Ars

Did you see the news stories about the relic of the heart of St. John Vianney? It has been brought to New York and is in St. Mary's Church in Waltham, Ma, today, and will be in the Boston cathedral tomorow.

I have to admit I have mixed feelings about this, because the idea of taking hearts or other bodily organs for relics can be taken to extremes sometimes. But it does have to do with the incarnational reality that is at the heart of Catholicism. Some of the sisters are going tonight to see it in Waltham and if I'm able I would like to go too.
The priest at Mass this morning said that the bishop of the diocese where Ars is located is accompanying the relic. The vocation office here is sponsoring this as an invitation to pray for vocations to the priesthood and for the holiness of priests. Father said that when the bishop was first asked to allow the relic to be brought here, his first reply was "no." But then he said, "For Boston....yes!" as if to say that the only way out of the terrible scandal is for priests to be holy.

How do you feel about these kinds of relics?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The book launch Theology of the Body

I just got back from the book launch of the newly translated edition of the theology of the body talks by Pope John Paul II.

It went so well! Dr. Michael Waldstein came from Austria and spoke briefly about the new translation, then he took questions from the audience. The people there raised excellent questions which Michael answered very well.

The event took place at the Holy See's office near the UN, where they have a Permanent Observer mission. Pope John Paul had visited that very room on one of his trips to the USA. Interestingly, there is a large painting on the wall depicting Michelangelo's portrait of the creation of Adam, which is the same one used on the cover of the new book. He pointed out how Eve, still in the mind of God, can be seen under God's arm. Her gaze is fixed on Adam, who in turn is looking directly at her.

I met many wonderful people there, and was especially delighted to see David Hajduk, one of our authors. David recently wrote a book on the theology of the body for young people, which we published in August. It's already a best-seller!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Theology of the Body book launch

Next Wednesday evening, Oct. 12, I'll be in NY for the book launch of our new edition of Pope John Paul's theology of the body. The volume, entitled Man and Woman He Created Them, has been newly translated by Professor Michael Waldstein of the Gaming Theological Institute in Austria. He has also taught in the past at Notre Dame University and brought exceptional academic expertise to the work (he has one doctorate in theology, another in philosophy, and an SSL from the Pontifical Biblical Institute.)
I'm looking forward to this, which is a very exciting thing. The new edition is a beautiful book and this excellent translation of Pope John Paul's writings has clarified many points and will be a reference for years to come.
This page has more details about the amazing discoveries Dr. Waldstein made in the secret archives of Karol Wojtyla.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

St. Francis, lover of poverty

Today's Gospel for the ordinary weekday is an appropriate one to fall on the feast of St. Francis. In it, Jesus says that the Son of Man has nowhere to place his head. He's telling his disciples that if they truly want to follow him, they have to get their priorities in order. They can't expect a life of luxury and ease.

St. Francis was the perfect model of this. Probably no one more than he lived a more radical poverty in the spirit of the Gospel. In fact, some of the things he did could easily be seen by us as too radical, but he was trying to get across an important message to the people of his time: to put God first in their lives.

I have to ask myself: is God really first in my life?