Showing posts with the label Blessed John Paul II

Study Mary with the Popes

I won’t lie; getting permission from Libreria Editrice Vaticana to gather a dozen papal encyclicals together for a unique Marian study was, well, awesome! Holding the contract in hand, gave me goose bumps. To share my excitement, the contract in part reads: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, located in the Vatican City State, in the person of the its Director and pro tempore legal representative, Prof. Don Giuseppe COSTA, sdb and Bezalel Books, A Catholic Publishing Company and Bookstore, Box 300427 Waterford, MI 48330, in the person of its President and pro tempore legal representative, Cheryl DICKOW.
Libreria Editrice Vaticana grants to Bezalel Books, a non exclusive permission to reproduce , in the work entitled:  MARY EVER VIRGIN FULL OF GRACE. A STUDY OF PAPAL ENCYCLICALS ON MARY, by Cheryl Dickow, the following excerpts:

The contract then goes on to list the dozen encyclicals that are in the book which begin with Octobri Menseo the September 22, 1891 encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on the rosar…

I met 'Pope John Paul III' on Easter Sunday

On Easter Sunday afternoon in the chapel in the village where I live here in Bacolod City I baptized a girl born in January. At the celebratory dinner later a boy of nine, whom I'll call 'Carlos', approached me with a big smile on his face and told me that he wanted to be like me - a priest. But he had something even more in mind - he wanted to be Pope! And he knows the name he will call himself - Pope John Paul III.
'Carlos' is too young to have any real personal memories of Blessed John Paul but he must have heard, read and seen quite a bit about him for that pope to have made such an impression on him. He goes to Blessed Carmel Sallés School, named after the foundress of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Mary who run the school. She was canonized last October but there are 'hoops' to be gone through before the Conceptionist Sisters can change its name. 
St Carmen Sallés(1848 - 1911)
The three Sisters at present in the community in Bacol…

Our Lady of the Gates of Dawn, Mary the Mother of Mercy

Reposted from Costing Not Less Than Everything

Mary the Mother of Mercy, Chapel of the Gates of Dawn in Vilnius, Lithuania The rizas (robes), or revetments, of gilded silver, are in three separate pieces. The gown of Our Lady is embellished with flowers, in a reference to Our Lady as a ‘hortus conclusus’ or walled garden.  Many miracles have taken place after veneration of the painting – and about 8,000 votive offerings have been presented to the chapel, including the silver crescent moon at the base of the painting. The painting is believed to be of Polish origin and, unusually, represents Our Lady without the Infant Christ. The statues on either side of the painting are of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, the parents of the Blessed Virgin. The chapel is an important place of pilgrimage in Lithuania and was visited by Blessed John Paul II in 1993. In the third week of November every year – in 2012, from 11th to 18th of November, the Indulgenced Feast of the Merciful Mother of God at the…

The Dignity of Work

“From the beginning therefore he [man] is called to work. Work is one of the characteristics that distinguish man from the rest of creatures, whose activity for sustaining their lives cannot be called work. Only man is capable of work, and only man works, at the same time by work occupying his existence on earth. Thus work bears a particular mark of man and of humanity, the mark of a person operating within a community of persons. And this mark decides its interior characteristics; in a sense it constitutes its very nature.”

Blessed John Paul wrote these words in his encyclical Laborem Exercens in 1981.

I’ve referred to this encyclical many times in my own writings and in attempting to get at the very nature of who I am as a Catholic woman, wife, mother, author, and teacher. I have found in his words a timeless truth—no surprise there!—and a certain sense of peace as well. Whether I have worked outside of the home out of necessity or out of a desire, balancing work with family alw…

'God takes delight in his people.' Sunday Reflections for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Adoration of the ShepherdsMurillo, painted 1646-50
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Gospel Luke 2:16-21 (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
The shepherds hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told.
When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception.
An Soiscéal Lúcás 13:33-37 (Gaeilge, Irish)
San am sin d’imigh na haoirí anonn go Beithil go deifreach, agus fuair siad Muire agus Iósaef, agus an naíonán ina luí sa mhains…

Happy Fourth of July!


One of the great contributions of the USA to popular culture is the Broadway/Hollywood musical. Among the masters at writing these were composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II. Most of their works were produced first on stage and later made into movies. The exception was State Fair, a 1945 film for which they wrote the score. It Might as Well Be Spring, from that production, won the Oscar that year for best song.
I doubt that there is a better version than that of Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel in the video above. The words of Lorenzo in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice could surely be applied to anyone who doesn't enjoy this performance with its great melody, words and arrangement and a singer clearly enjoying himself:
The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.

(Apologies on behalf of the Bard of Avon for the 'non-inclusive' 'man'!)

Hammerstein was…

On Floods And The Freedom To Love

(This was originally posted on the website of one of our country's leading newspapers, the Philippine Star. Feel free to follow my posts there every Tuesday, Philippine time. Or you can also follow my blogs: and Thank you and God bless you all!)
Couples for Christ, our Catholic community, just celebrated its 30th anniversary. CFC’s Main Anniversary Celebration was held at Rizal Park last Sunday, June 26.
It was a very busy week for a lot of us, myself included. I was tasked to be part of the Documentation Team, heading the CFC Writers’ Guild. It was a fun but tiring job, and I missed my two kids a lot during the entire week, as we had to go home late many nights.
Typhoon Falcon came and threatened a lot of our activities, but thank GOD for answering our prayers! People still came to the conferences and were blessed by the messages.
One such conference that we thought would be greatly affected by the heavy rains and flooding brought…

May Feelings IV- To Finish Off the Month of May

Thank you Padre Luis, a priest in Venezuela, for sharing this very moving video.